Friday, March 06, 2009

Grech ready, poised for jump to next level

It’s time for Brett Grech to move on.

The third-year defenseman for the Metro Jets is the longest-tenured player on the Jets and would like to have the chance to make the jump to the North American Hockey League next fall.

But he knows that’s not necessarily a given and accepts the reality of the situation.

“It all depends on how hard I work,” said Grech, an 18-year-old from Hartland.

Grech is second in team scoring this year with seven goals and 33 assists for 40 points. He led Metro in scoring last season as a forward.

Beyond numbers, though, are the intangibles Grech brings to the rink each night. Metro assistant coach Ryan Skop thinks Grech’s well-rounded game would be an asset to any NAHL team

“I think Grechy can be an impact guy in the NAHL,” said Skop. “For the most part, I think he can play in the top four or five on just about any team there is. His value to the league will come from his offense. He’s so good with the puck and so good offensively that I think he’ll be a good power-play guy up there.”

To play with the Jets the past three years, despite the losing records, hasn’t been a total disappointment for Grech. He said at the end of each year, he wanted to make the trek back to Waterford to further fine-tune his skills.

“Everyone always has options,” the 6-foot, 200-pound Grech said. “It’s fun playing in this league because it’s like you are a pro in that you practice everyday and go on road trips. I also think my confidence and decision-making has improved playing here due to (head coach) Jamie (Hayden) and Ryan pushing me and helping me to become a better hockey player.

“I think I’ve stayed upbeat by just having fun. I just love to play hockey.”

To play in the NAHL, however, Grech either needs to be tendered, drafted, or signed as a free agent via a summer tryout camp. In other words, he just needs an opportunity to showcase his talent that has had him at or near the top of CSHL defensemen scoring all season long. Grech is a single point behind St. Louis’ John Wright entering this weekend’s final regular season games.

“North American League teams are going to want to take a chance on Grechy for a couple reasons,” Skop said. “One is that he’s a good player, obviously, and two, is that he’s got so much junior experience. He’s so young, but it’s hard to believe he’s been playing juniors for three years.”

Once he hopefully lands with one of the 19 NAHL teams next fall, Skop said he should have no trouble staying in the league and finding his way into the lineup each game.

“The most improved part of his game, and the one part that’s going to make him survive in the NAHL, is just his game in his own end,” said Skop. “He doesn’t get beat. He owns the front of the cage. He does all the little things that you would expect out of a guy ready to make the jump to the North American League.”


Last Saturday night, the Jets topped the Grand Rapids Jr. Owls, 9-2 on the road, and in the process swept the season series.

Jets captain Adam Novack tallied a goal and three assists, while Matt McCaig, Sean Carlock and Justin Vinson each recorded two goals and an assist in the win.

Will Saley and Grech had a goal and a helper apiece and Jake Williams chipped in two assists for Metro (7-35-1-1).

In net, Colin Greeley finished with 50 saves for his fourth victory of the season and third versus Grand Rapids.

Carlock's and Williams' points were their first of the season for Metro.

Tonight, Metro closes out the 2008-2009 season against Toledo at the Toledo Ice House. Game time is 8:00 p.m.

The Cherokee are three points behind first-place St. Louis for top spot overall in the CSHL standings and have Dubuque on their tails for second place.

Photo by Walt Dmoch

No comments: