Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 32
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
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HOMEWORK: Taylor Fedun heads up the ice in action this winter during his senior campaign with the Princeton University men’s hockey team. Star defenseman Fedun, a native of Edmonton, Alberta, scored a career-high 22 points this winter on the way to earning second-team All America honors and being named as one of the five recipients of the William Winston Roper Trophy, given to the top Princeton senior male athletes. Fedun signed a two-year entry level contract this March with his hometown Edmonton Oilers and recently skated at the team’s prospect camp.

PU Hockey Alum Fedun Enjoys Homecoming; Competing at Edmonton Oilers Prospect Camp

Ed Benkin

While some college players feel out of place at NHL prospect camps, recently graduated Princeton University star Taylor Fedun was right at home skating in the Edmonton Oilers’ camp last month.

For Edmonton, Alberta native Fedun, being on the ice for the team he grew up cheering for made for a memorable week.

“I think it was really good from start to finish,” said Fedun, who signed a two-year entry level contract with the organization this March.

“To be around the personnel, the rink itself, and the organization was really a neat experience. It was a big stepping stone before the main camp in the fall, so it was really good to go through that.”

Fedun was hardly intimidated by his surroundings in Edmonton. After getting a taste of what a prospect camp was like by skating with the Vancouver Canucks last summer, Fedun headed to Edmonton with the confidence and experience many of the other prospects lacked.

“I went to Vancouver’s rookie camp last year,” said the 6’1, 210-pound Fedun. “I got a taste at what goes on at a rookie camp itself. I think I had that confidence heading into the week and it made me feel really comfortable there.”

Fedun completed his senior season at Princeton last March and recorded ten goals and 12 assists for a career-high 22 points in 29 games on the way to finishing as the second-highest scoring defenseman in school history with 68 points on 20 goals and 48 assists in 127 games.

He led the way for a Princeton team which placed sixth in ECAC Hockey this past winter and surprised many of the preseason prognosticators who were predicting a rebuilding year for the Tigers.

“We had a really young team heading in,” said Fedun. “I know a lot of people outside the organization didn’t have high expectations for us. It did take us a little while to get going, but we went on a great run in the middle of the year.”

Fedun blossomed under former Princeton coach Guy Gadowsky, who recently left the school to take a similar position at Penn State. While Fedun knows Gadowsky will be missed, he believes the program will be in capable hands under new head coach Bob Prier.

“I got a chance to meet him and talk with him a little bit,” Fedun said. “Obviously, Guy did wonderful things for the program, but I think from what I’ve heard talking to Coach Prier, he’s going to do a pretty good job of keeping the program headed in the right direction.”

Fedun’s solid season did not go unrecognized around the college hockey world. Fedun was named as a second-team All-American by the American Hockey Coaches Association, becoming the seventh Tiger hockey player to be so honored. Fedun also joined four other Tigers in receiving the William Winston Roper Trophy, the top honor given to male senior-athletes at Princeton.

“It was incredibly flattering,” said Fedun. “To have those accolades is a really good feeling. It was a really great way to cap off college and made me feel comfortable heading out into the real world.”

Fedun’s time with the Oilers this summer involved more than just hockey. Players also learned about subjects such as conditioning and finance managing. There were also some unique challenges for Fedun and his fellow prospects.

“We went out to a restaurant in Edmonton and we were given a cooking lesson,” Fedun said. “The following day, we had a competition to see how much we remembered from it.”

Fedun is hoping to join an increasingly growing list of Princeton Tigers who have found homes in professional hockey. Fedun will likely line up against other Princeton alumni if he does make it to the NHL, and Fedun is proud to see so many former Tigers skating in the professional ranks.

“It’s very exciting to see these guys do well,” said Fedun, who would relish crossing paths with such Tiger alums as Darroll Powe (Minnesota Wild), Jeff Halpern (Montreal Canadians, George Parros (Anaheim Ducks) and Kevin Westgarth (Los Angeles Kings).

“I like the way it gives respect and credibility to the program. It’s something I like seeing and hopefully, it continues.”

Fedun is hoping to one day make his NHL dream come true. Playing for the team he grew up cheering for in Edmonton would make the reality even more special.

“They have a lot of pictures on the wall of past teams,” Fedun said. “They’ve got a wall with all the captains that have been there. Being a kid who grew up in Edmonton and actually getting to see those guys while they were playing made it pretty cool to be in the middle of it.”

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