(Eau Claire, WI- WEAU)
Jake Dowell was back in Eau Claire today, taking part in the Minnesota Wild's Summer Road tour. Jake, along with teammates Clayton Stoner and Darcy Kuemper signed autographs and took pictures with fans at Wells Fargo Bank on Mall Drive.
Dowell, who spent most of the 2013 season with the Wild's minor league team in Houston, got a late season call-up and joined the Wild for the final weeks of the regular season and playoff run. Jake says it's a neat thing being part of Eau Claire's hockey craze, "This is cool to see all the kids here, and the buzz around town about hockey and the Minnesota Wild. Hockey has become such a big thing here in Eau Claire and it's fun for these kids to come out and see actual NHL players."
Dowell will spend this summer preparing for the 2013-14 season with the expectation that he will be with the Wild full-time next year.
"This is an enormous year for me, career-wise I need to get myself full-time back in the NHL where I was the past couple of years and be a guy that can be counted on and play every night, that's my expectation. Your goals change every year with the amount of success that you are looking for, you always want to have a chance to win the cup but some teams that don't always have the reality that they are able to do that. I think the Wild got into the playoffs and everybody was happy about that, but that's not the goal, we want to be a contender and have a chance to go at the Stanley Cup."