Friday, July 09, 2010

Jets' Elliott advances to CJHL's Grads

Jon Elliott was one of the surprise breakout players last season for the Metro Jets and he has parlayed his successful 2009-2010 campaign into a spot with the Cumberland Grads of the Central (Ontario) Junior Hockey League.

For Elliott, a 19-year-old forward from Bloomfield Hills, this opportunity has been one he’s had in the past.

“When I was 16, I went to a CJHL prospects tournament in Ottawa and after that tournament, three teams sent me invitations to their tryout camps,” said Elliott. “One of them happened to be the Cumberland Grads. I attended their camp and they invited me back to their main camp, but over that summer, I made the decision to play for my high school team at Brother Rice. This summer, I made the decision to go back and tryout again.”

Making the move to Canada to play Junior A hockey will not be an issue as Elliott will live with his uncle who lives just 20 minutes from the Cumberland rink. Elliott’s father also grew up in Canada and still has family north of the border.

“For most kids, moving would be very difficult and for me it will be a big change, but the support I have from my family will make the transition a lot easier,” Elliott said. “The best part of me playing for this team next year is that I won't have to live with a billet family that I don't know.”

Last season with the Jets, Elliott was second on the team in both goals (15) and points (26). He was also one of three players to play in all 48 games.

“Jon was one of just a few players that, more or less, stuck to our game plan,” said Jets GM Butch Wolfe. “His making Cumberland just shows what can happen if you listen and apply what is being said.”

Elliott said that last year was a tough year team-wise, but it nonetheless steered him in the direction to get ready for the next rung on the hockey ladder.

“The biggest thing that last season helped me prepare to make the jump from the CSHL to the CJHL was the drive and hard work you needed to put in day in and day out no matter if it was practice or a game,” explained Elliott.

As for where he wants to be at this time next year, Elliott’s goals are simple.

“Next season, my goals are to help the Grads win the league championship and personally, to try and have a standout year where I can play college hockey the following year.”

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