Friday, December 05, 2008

Metro alumni making impact at all levels

When a player moves on from the Metro Jets, it’s the goal of the coaching staff and team management to see that player succeed at the next level.

Perhaps no one succeeded more than former forward Eric Ehn, who during his junior season at Air Force in 2006-2007, was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award after finishing the season with 64 points, good for second in the nation.

Ehn played in Waterford from 2000-2002 and is now stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara, Calif., in space and missiles training, but did play one game with the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors this year.

“When we had Eric, you could just tell he was a special player,” Metro GM Butch Wolfe said. “But did I ever think he would go on to be one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker? Not in a million years. He showed that hard work definitely pays off, that’s for sure.”

One of two Jets’ alumni in the North American Hockey League this year is North Iowa Outlaws’ defenseman Jacob DeSano. The other is Mahoning Valley Phantoms forward Nick Kenney, who was Metro’s top scorer during the 2006-2007 campaign with 31 goals among 66 points (tied for sixth in the entire CSHL).

DeSano played with Metro last year and recorded nine goals and 23 points in 46 games along with 154 penalty minutes.

“We are proud to have given Jake the experience to get to the next level,” Wolfe said.

Several other former Jets are playing professionally such as forwards Jeremy Scherlinck (Wheeling/ECHL), Dominic Osman (Fort Wayne/IHL), Wylie Rogers (Rio Grande Valley/CHL) and Tyler Sims (Mississippi/CHL).

Steve Oleksy is playing Division I hockey with Lake Superior State and a handful of others are honing their skills at the Division III and ACHA levels.

Though their season might not reflect it, the Jets are looking to promote a handful of players next season and one in particular, goaltender Colin Greeley (Howell), was a fourth-round pick of the Ontario Hockey League’s Saginaw Spirit last May and had a terrific camp with the Spirit this past September before signing with the Jets.

“Colin has seen a lot of shots this year and his record may not show it, but he’s played well and kept us in a number of games,” added Wolfe. “We’ve also had inquiries from teams in the NAHL, and even some colleges about some of our players, so we look forward to seeing our players moving up the hockey ladder.”

Kenney photo by Robert Meyer/NAHL

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