Meet the Outlaws - Adam Shimamoto
Date: Oct 13, 2016
By: Wendy Niskanen, Staff Writer
The Tri-City Outlaws are proud to announce their first article in a series of player biographies for the 2016-17 season by introducing the newly named captain, #11 Payton Okon. Okon comes to Tri-Cities from Coeur d' Alene, Idaho where he attended Kootenai Bridge Academy. He grew up playing hockey in Coeur d' Alene and Spokane to prepare him for his time on the Cheney Icehawks (2014-15), where he skated before coming to Tri-Cities. Okon didn’t get to fully use his potential with the Icehawks; however, once given the opportunity to be a consistent presence on the ice with the Outlaws, he was able to flourish, posting 27 goals, 28 assists for a total of 55 points in 40 games played last season.
Like many junior hockey players, Okon admits that the biggest challenge in junior hockey is making things work financially, as the tier 3 level of hockey is a pay-to-play platform. He explains that his favorite part of junior hockey is having the opportunity to connect with and influence the local youth hockey program, which he will be doing on most Sundays during the Outlaws Day Camps at the Toyota Arena throughout this season. Though he enjoys golf and video games, his primary focus during the season will be to progress and improve who he is, on and off the ice. Payton aspires to play college hockey. The Outlaws program prepares him for a collegiate career by offering a schedule that is comparable to that of a college hockey program. In addition, the Outlaws will play in two national showcases this season, in Boston, MA and Chicago, IL, which will give him the exposure he needs to be noticed by college scouts. After college, Payton is not sure what his career focus will be, though he enjoys woodworking.
The Outlaws look forward to some outstanding, physical hockey from Okon during the upcoming season. Be sure to come see him as he leads the team in the home opener on Friday, October 7th @ 7:05 at the Toyota Arena. To get your tickets you can head on over to the Toyota Center Box Office or get them at the door.