Thursday, June 25, 2009

Metro signs three forwards, tough defenseman

The Metro Jets' roster added more players for the fall as four skaters signed their team contracts last night at Lakeland Arena.

Forwards Michael Denston (Oakland Grizzlies Midget Major/White Lake), David Merkle (Waterford Kettering HS/Waterford) and Matt Moeller (Troy Sting U-16/Fraser) inked on the dotted line, along with veteran defenseman Steve Lockwood (Clarkston), who returns to the Jets for his second season after leading the Central States Hockey League in penalty minutes last year.

All four players bring a combination of skill and attitude that has Metro assistant coach Ryan Skop elated.

Skop on Denston: "Michael is simply a good hockey player. He's a guy who can do a little bit of everything - he can play on our first line and score some goals or he can play on our fourth line and be a shutdown-type guy. He's got good hands around the net, skates well and has good vision. I think he'll be a very important guy for us."

Skop on Merkle: "Merk can flat-out put the puck in the net. He gives us another weapon that other teams are going to have to be conscious of. He doesn't do anything too flashy, but he can score when given the chance. He skates pretty well and it will be a challenge for opponents to slow him down."

Skop on Moeller: "Moe comes in here in a great position. He understands where he fits in with our group and has embraced where he's going to start. Moe's a young guy (only turns 16 in August), but I fully expect him to push and compete with the older guys. He works so hard and if our vets aren't careful, he's going to steal their jobs."

Skop on Lockwood: "This is a big year for Woody. He proved last year he was one of the toughest guys in the league and there's a lot expected of him coming back this year. He knows what he's got to work on to advance and he's been doing that this summer. He's got good leadership skills and we'll be looking for that out of him."

Next up for the Jets is their July open tryout camp that runs from July 10-12 at Lakeland Arena.

Photos by Andy Grossman - Top photo is Merkle and Lockwood and bottom photo is Moeller and Denston.

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