Force fans may not be familiar with Christian Cakebread, but this young up and comer looks to be one of the pieces the Force coaching staff is looking for when composing next season’s team.
Cakebread is a 15-year-old sophomore who is currently playing for the Arizona Bobcats U16 (AAA) where he serves as the Assistant Captain. Cakebread hails from Gilbert, AZ, which is the same hometown of former Force forward, Colten St. Clair (’08-11) who is currently playing at the University of North Dakota.
The Force recently picked up Cakebread through the tender process. This is a fairly new process in the USHL where a team essentially uses a future’s round draft pick prior to the actual draft that takes place in the summer. With many current Force players moving into the college ranks next season, filling those roles as soon as possible is important to the coaching staff. The tender process allows the Force to start building early, prior to the draft.
“We [the Force] thought he was a very good player and he was worth the draft pick. We want him on our team,” said Assistant Coach and Director of Player Personnel Jesse Davis.
Cakebread, a natural forward, is currently playing defense with the Arizona Bobcats where he has 56 points (19g, 37a) on the season. He will use his diversity in play next season by returning to the forward position when he joins the Force.
“I did what I needed to benefit the team,” said Cakebread of the position switch this season. “My style of play is more defensive but I can still score which helped in my transition [to defense].”
Growing up in Arizona, which Cakebread said is a ‘growing hockey state’; he didn’t necessarily come from a hockey family. His dad played for just one season in high school but his parents encouraged him to try something different.
He has been with his current coach Ron Filion for the last couple seasons. “Coach [Ron Filion] helped me grow and mature as a player and helped me improve my skills greatly,” said Cakebread.
Looking toward to the future, Cakebread is excited to join the Force and move up to the USHL. “I’m looking forward to gaining range and experience.” His goals for his hockey career are to focus on his game and get into a DI college. Also as he moves up to the next level, he also looks to improve on his game, particularly on his hand coordination.
“I have friends and former teammates in the USHL and I want to follow in their footsteps,” said Cakebread of joining the Force and choosing the USHL route. “It was an easy decision.”
Cakebread will remain on the Force’s affiliate list for the remainder of this season but will join the team next season. Look for him to be a growing part of the Force for seasons to come.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)