El Paso’s newest addition to the NAHL 2021-22 roster is defenseman Jack Franklin. Read more about him below.
Born in San Jose, California, Jack Franklin’s hockey career was kickstarted by a roller-skating neighbor. “When I was 2-3, my neighbor played roller hockey and I thought it was the coolest thing ever,” Jack explained. His parents then took him to a San Jose Sharks game where they bought him a small wooden collector’s stick. He remembers, “I wouldn’t put it down.” Now, he’s a play-making defenseman who has hopes of one day playing in the NHL. “I’ll do anything to get there,” he said adamantly.
Like the other tenders, Franklin was recruited by Rhino Associate Head Coach Vinny Bohn. After their first few conversations in which Bohn explained the future of the Rhinos’ program and detailed the fan support, specifically the sellout games, Franklin was sold. “The Rhinos have been my top interest. I’ve just been really excited to get going for next year.” His eagerness, matched by discipline, will continue to further his hockey career, he hopes. “I’m ready to take that next step to the junior level. I’m always prepared on ice and off ice and hopefully that leads up to playing pro hockey one day.”
As a defenseman, Franklin enjoys contributing offensively and defensively. “I love to get involved on both sides. I like to create the rush,” he says. “I take pride in how my defensive game is and shutting down their best lines. I’m a smart player and I love to use my feet to make plays.” Bohn also lauds Franklin’s ability to play both ways. “Jack is an offensive defenseman that’s able to make a good first pass. His offensive intangibles and ability to push the pace is something that we’ve always believed to be his strong suit. We’re extremely excited for Jack to be part of our team next year and on our blue line.”
Jack is currently playing for the Victory Honda 18U AAA team in Plymouth, MI. In 24 games, the defenseman has totaled 6 goals and 15 assists. He’s currently out because of a groin injury, however, he’s only missed two games and plans to return to play this week. “I’m going to come back and keep everything simple,” he plans. “Making a good first pass, playing good ‘d’, taking the body, anything I can do to help our team win.”
Since COVID quarantine began, Franklin has been training with a friend who is playing the in USHL. That friend impressed upon him the importance of eating healthy meals and for Franklin, that is a challenge because he enjoys eating out at restaurants. However, he is currently on a meal plan that includes six daily meals of lean protein and vegetables. He says that’s he’s already noticed a difference in his performance on and off the ice.
Ten Things with Jack Franklin
- Do you have pets? Two dogs
His two dogs are named Sidney and Lucy.
- What’s your favorite comedy? Kevin Hart’s movies
“Anything with Kevin Hart in it,” he said without hesitation. “He’s, by far, my favorite actor.”
- What’s a local restaurant you’d recommend? Zipps Sports Grill in Chandler, Arizona
Back in Arizona, where Franklin resides when he’s not in season, he highly recommends Zipps Sports Grill in Chandler. “I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever had in my life.” His go-to meal consists of mild bone-in wings with a Diet Coke and Ranch.
- What’s been the best concert you’ve attended? Usher
Jack’s only been to one concert, so Usher wins the award of “Best Concert Ever Attended.” About five or six years ago, he accompanied his mom to the concert.
- Do you believe in luck or do we make our own luck? Yes
“I do believe in luck. Good karma and bad karma– I’m all in for that.”
- What habit are you most proud of? The ability to do laundry
“I can do my own laundry,” Jack said proudly. About a year ago, his mom made sure he could wash his own clothing.
- What’s your favorite season? Winter
“Winter, by far. If it was wintertime all year, I’d be totally happy with it.” Jack says he loves Christmas time and cold weather.
- Who is the last celebrity you followed on social media? Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks
Just 30 minutes before the interview, Jack had followed Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson on Instagram. Petterson is a 1998-born center from Sundsvall, Sweden.
- What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received? goalie pads
As a kid, Jack would play goalie in the garage and allow others to shoot on him, so his mom gifted him a set of very nice Vaughn goalie pads. “I begged my mom for them,” he remembers. Despite them being a great gift, Jack never had any intention of being a goalie: “I only used them in garage.” He admitted that, later, he felt bad for asking for them.
- What kind of cake should someone give you for your birthday? Cake batter, cookie dough, chocolate
“Plain chocolate or something with cake batter. I love cake batter. Cookie dough is one of my favorites too.”
According to NAHL.com, “A tender is a contract, of sorts, a player signs announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Each team is granted ten (10) tenders – plus or minus any trades – which become active on Nov. 1. Tendered players are not eligible for the NAHL draft.”