Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Muskegon adds Shuart for home stretch

The Muskegon Lumberjacks have loaded up for the home stretch of the United States Hockey League season by adding one of their affiliate players, Max Shuart, to their active roster.

Shuart, a 6-1, 180-pound forward with a left-handed shot, hails from Northville, Ill. The fleet-footed skater put together an outstanding season with Victory Honda’s Midget Major team, posting 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists) in just 36 games before joining the Jacks.

Victory Honda head coach Brian Burke is elated that Shuart will get a chance to cut his teeth with the Jacks as they make a run at the Clark Cup.

“The USHL will give Max the greatest opportunity to reach all his goals in hockey and in life,” Burke said. “He’s going to play for a fantastic organization that’s only going to get stronger every season. I’m proud Max will be part of it. We’ll certainly miss him.”

Shuart credits the Victory Honda program with preparing him for the rigors of playing in the premier junior league, including Jacks assistant coach Dave Noel-Bernier’s incredible training program.

“With Victory Honda, we did a lot of fast-paced drills and a lot of working out to prepare for the jump to the USHL,” Shuart says. “The competition with Honda’s been great. Every game can go either way, so it’s been great battle testing.”

For Shuart, going the USHL route to eventually reach his dream of playing in the National Hockey League was an easy decision.

“The USHL is the top junior league for staying college eligible,” Shuart said, “and you see a lot of its former players in the NHL. That’s where all of us are aspiring to be.”

The University of Michigan commit has long looked forward to honing his skills under Jacks head coach Kevin Patrick in Muskegon, less than three hours from his hometown.

“It’ll be great to be playing in Michigan and I immediately love it here in Muskegon,” Shuart said. “It’s a great town, the facilities are top notch. What more could you want?”

The Jacks boast two more affiliates with Victory Honda, Mike McNicholas and Joshua Henke.

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