Ken played for the South St. Paul Packers in high school, the Saint Paul Vulcans of the Midwest Jr. Hockey League and the University of Minnesota Gophers in college. He then went on to play for the Muskegon Mohawks of the IHL, the Los Angeles Monarchs/Blades of the PHL, and the Utica Mohawks and Hampton Aces of the NEHL before changing his career from hockey to hockey art.


Ken Yackel Jr. was born in St. Paul Minnesota. He started playing hockey at Baker play ground at the age of six on the west side of St. Paul. Ken has always been known for his stick handling ability, skating agility and speed. He’s determination and strength made up for his 5 8’ stature.

 1968 his South St. Paul Bantam team took 2nd place in the Minnesota state bantam tournament losing to Edina in the last 30 sec of the game 1 to nothing. Edina was the host of the 1968 Amateur Hockey Association of the United States (AHAUS) national tournament. Edina, won the state tournament and as the host team, asked South St Paul to be the representative for the state of Minnesota.

From 1971 to 1973 Ken Jr. played for the South St. Paul Packers. In 1972 the Packers were League Champions and were region four representatives for the Minnesota state High School hockey tournament. In 1973 the Packers were undefeated until the regional final game against Henry Sibley High School Warriors. That year was the first year of the North-South High School All-star game. Ken was a defense representative for the South team.


Then during that summer he talked to University of Minnesota’s coach Herb Brooks about pursuing a hockey career at the University of Minnesota. Brooks thought that with Yackel’s skating ability he would make a better winger than a defense, which was a position that he always played. They came to the agreement that he could play for the University if he played one year of JR A Hockey at the wing position. In 1974 Yackel played for the Saint Paul Vulcans of the Midwest Jr. Hockey league and played with three of his packer hockey teammates. They were national Jr. A champions and Yackel has 34 point in 32 games before being side lined with knee surgery.

In the fall of 1975 he started his career as a Gopher at the University with five of his Vulcan teammates. In the 1975 NCAA National Hockey Tournament the Gophers took second place. The 1976 season started with a summer trip to Europe where the Gophers took a bronze metal in the Fussen cup, with Ken Jr. scoring a goal against the Russian Red hockey team. In that year the Gophers played in the first United States hockey hall of fame game. The Gophers won the game and Yackel scored four goals, setting a hall of fame game record. That year the Gophers won the McNaughton cup in the WCHA champions. In that same year the Gophers won the NCAA championships.


After the 1977 season Yackel left school to pursue a professional hockey career. In the fall of 1977 Yackel, following in his fathers footsteps, went to training camp of one of his father’s former teams the Providence Reds. A month before the training camp was open the team folded. Ross Brooks, the manager of the reds got Yackel a try out with the Binghamton Broom Dusters of the American Hockey League. After that training camp Yackel ended up in the IHL with the Muskegon Mohawks.  He finished the season out with Waterloo Blackhawks of the USHL.  The Black Hawks were the playoff champions and Ken was the play-off scoring champion.

The following season Yackel tried out for the NHL Minnesota North Stars and attended their Rookie camp. From that camp Ron Engrim of the San Diego Sea Hawks asked Yackel to attend their training camp. After the training camp Yackel was sent to the Los Angles Monarchs/ Blades of the PHL. Half way through the season Yackel got a call from the Utica Mohawks of the NEHL.  Chuck Grill called Yackel at the advice of his x teammates and asked Yackel if he wanted to play for the Utica Mohawks. He arrived in Utica in January and Chuck asked me what position he played. He answered back what you need and Chuck needed a defenseman. For the first time since high school Yackel had an opportunity to play defense.


The following season the team made a coaching change. Larry Mickey, the new coach and thought that Yackel will make a better winger and played Yackel a winger that would play defense on a power play. The Mohawks made the play-off and were beaten out in the first round by the Erie Blades. Yackel was the leading play-off scorer for the Mohawks. In the 1980 season of the Eastern Hockey League Yackel was on pace to be the first team all-star left wing, but an ankle injury put him out. When he returned from the injury he was traded to the Hampton Aces. At this time Yackel decided to make a career change. Until Yackel continued his schooling in 1982 Yackel was the head coach of the Waterloo Black Hawks Jr. A USHL. 

 In 1981, Yackel retired from professional hockey. Yackel continues to play hockey at the amateur level. Yackel has played in various leagues and exhibition games.  In 1995, 2000, and 2009 Yackel has been a member of teams that won gold in the Snoopy’s Senior World Hockey Tournament.  In 2004 Yackel’s team won bronze in the Senior Olympic Games.

Other accomplishments related to the game of Ice Hockey:  1991 Yackel was the Zamboni driver at the Cow Palace for the San Jose Sharks.  On December 4, 1991 in a Sharks vs. the Montreal Canadians game that set a National Hockey League record for the longest delayed game. Yackel was the Zamboni driver that made it possible for the game to be played. The Sharks also own the second place, when SJ Sharky got stuck repelling from the top of the Shark Tank in 2005. When the Sharks moved to San Jose, Yackel retired from his NHL Zamboni career after opening night. In 1995 and 1996, Yackel was the Head Zamboni Driver at the Cow Palace for the SF Spiders of the IHL. While at the Cow Palace, Yackel also resurfaced the ice for Disney On Ice and Ice Capade shows. In 1999, Yackel choreographed The Big Game Zamboni Race for, drag racing two Zamboni’s on the streets of San Francisco.

 Ken Yackel Jr. is a fine artist known for his hockey sculpture and oil paintings. He has been drawing and painting since high school. In college he majored in ice hockey and minored in artist. After his professional hockey career he attended the Minneapolis college of Art and Design, graduating with a Bachelors of Fine Art in 1984. He pursued a career in hockey art with a highpoint being a bronze sculpture in front of the United States Hockey hall of Fame in Eveleth, Minnesota. At this time Yackel has had eight one man shows displaying his sculpture and paintings.


Formal Education
University of Minnesota, 1975-77
Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 1982-85

Minnesota Hockey Magazine 11/1988
College Hockey Magazine 4/1990
Ice Skating Institute 2004 hockey skating & hockey skills manuals
Recreational Ice hockey Rule Book 1990

Ice Shows
1973 Wakota Arena Holiday Show (performer)
1976 Highland Park Arena Holiday Show (performer)
1974-77 Jump and Spin (prop designer)
1994-2008 Ice Oasis Hockey and Skating Club (prop designer)

Skating School
19879-80 Jump and Spin, hockey director, instructor
1994-2008 Ice Oasis Hockey and Skating Club, founder

Figure Skating Club
2008 Ice Oasis Hockey and Skating Club, founder

Ice Resurface Operator
1988-89 Golden Gate Ice Arena
1990-92 Cow Palace, head operator, crew chief, NHL Sharks (NHL record), Disney on Ice, ice logo painter
1993 San Jose Arena, ice logo painter
1994 Great Zamboni Race on the streets of San Francisco
1994-96 Cow Palace, crew chief, IHL Spiders
1994-2009 Ice Oasis Hockey and Skating Club, head operator

Hockey player
1968 AHAUS National Bantam Tournament
1972 Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament
1973 Minnesota All State Team
1974 US. National Champions, St. Paul Vulcans, MWJHL
1975 WCHA Champions, NCAA National Runner-up, Minnesota Gophers
1976 NCAA National Champions, Minnesota Gophers (hall of fame game current record, 4 goals)
1978 USHL Play-off Champions, Waterloo Blackhawk’s. (Play-off scoring leader), AHL Binghamton Broom dusters.
IHL Muskegon Mohawks
1979 NHL Minnesota North Stars rookie camp, PHL San Diego Seahawks, Los Angles Monarchs,
ECHL Utica Mohawks (team playoff scoring leader)
1980 EHL, Utica Mohawks, Hampton Aces
1982-83 St. Paul Senior Men League, Frontier Bar, Boo’s Bar
1983-1998 Minnesota USA, Senior Men Team
1994- present Snoopy World Seniors Tournament, Las Vegas Outlaws, United Nations
2004-05 USA Senior Olympics, Ice Oasis Polars


Hockey Coach
1981 USHL Waterloo Blackhawks
1990&91 California Firemen Olympics, San Francisco Flames 1990 Cal (Berkeley) Bears JV. 1992&93 Bay Area, Eagles Tournament Team
1994-2007 Ice Oasis, Polars & Polar Blackstars Tournament Teams
1998 California State & Nor-Cal Bantam Champions
1999-2001 EJHL, Ice Oasis Polars
2001-04 Ice Oasis Polars Women’s Tournament Team
2004-05 Ice Oasis Polars Senior Olympics (player coach)
2006-present Pac 10, ACHA Stanford Cardinal
2007- 2009 SJHSL Redwood City Polars JV.
2008 SJHSL Redwood City Polars Varsity
2009 SJHSL Peninsula Padres Varsity
2010 SJHSL Bay Area Bandits High School Hockey Club JV. & Varsity

Hockey Teacher, Instructor
1974-present Ken Yackel hockey schools & programs for youth and adults
1985-1994 Belmont Ranger in-house (youth)
1988 Pac8 Stanford, Cardinal (college)
1989-1994 Berkeley Bears in-house (youth)
1988- NCWHL (1st) Tournament (women)
1988 Tri-Valley in-house (youth)
1989-91 Pacific Hockey League, Brewers (adult)
1990-94 Breakaway Hockey Association, Skills (adult)
1993 Golden Gate Ice Arena (youth)
1990 Cal (Berkeley) Bears JV. (College)
1997 Hockey night in Boston (Los Angles)
2006 ISI convention hockey skating section (San Diego)

Hockey Director
1990-94 BHA co-director of operations
1990-94 BHA director of officials
1994-2009 Ice Oasis Hockey and Skating Club director of adult, youth and officials
2004 ISI vice chair hockey section
2010 Bay Area Bandits High School Hockey Club JV. & Varsity

Ice Rink Operation
In addition to his accomplishments as a fine artist and a hockey player, Ken has had over twenty years experience in ice rink operation, as an operator, director, owner and consultant.


Daughter, Candice (CJ) - December 1989
2008 San Jose High School League, Polars JV

Son, Zack - October 1993
2008 San Jose High School League, Polars JV
2009 San Jose High School League, Polars JV, Pardres Varsity Champions
2010 San Jose High School League, Bandits JV & Varsity

Son, Dakota - October 1994
2009 San Jose High School League, Polars JV, Pardres Varsity Champions
2010 San Jose High School League, Bandits JV & varsity

Ken comes from a family of hockey players and ice skaters. His father, Ken Yackel Sr., was a member of the 1952 Olympic silver medal team and is enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. His mother was a top-level speedskater, his brother a national level hockey referee, and his sister is a skating school director and instructor. His second cousin Erik Johnson, was a member of the 2010 silver medal hockey team.
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