Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Milosek happy to land in Port Huron

Next weekend, goaltender Derek “Max” Milosek will compete with a group of other top prospects for a spot on the Port Huron Fighting Falcons’ 2011-12 roster, as the team holds their final tryout camp of the off-season at Hazel Park Ice Arena.

The 18-year-old was acquired by the Fighting Falcons when they traded the third overall pick in the 2011 NAHL draft for a tender, giving them his rights before he was eligible to be drafted. Port Huron’s front office was worried that the netminder may be taken by the expansion Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings with the first overall pick.

“When I was tendered I was really happy and excited to be picked up by Port Huron,” Milosek said. “It’s close to home and my family can come watch.”

Milosek began last season with the Motor City Metal Jackets, a North Division rival of the Fighting Falcons in the NAHL. In nine starts with the Metal Jackets, Milosek earned a 5-4 record, with a goals-against average of 3.09 and a .907 save percentage.

A Lapeer native, Milosek saw his rights traded to the Topeka Roadrunners, though he opted to instead play for the Detroit-based Honeybaked U-18 team. Milosek has said that the proudest moment of his hockey career was winning the state tournament as Honeybaked’s goalie last season.

In 20 games with the midget major powerhouse, Milosek earned a sterling 11-1-4 record, dropping his goals-against average to 2.41.

Playing for the Fighting Falcons would give Milosek the opportunity to return to the NAHL while staying close to home.

Milosek’s career goals mirror those of most NAHL players, as he hopes to play Division I college hockey.

Jimmy Davis, who the Fighting Falcons had also tendered, will see that goal come to fruition when he will play for the Michigan Tech Huskies this season. Rudi Pino, who was Port Huron’s assistant captain last season, will also head to Michigan Tech, where he has been given preferred walk-on status at their tryout camp.

The Fighting Falcons’ final tryout camp will take place July 29-31, at Hazel Park Ice Arena at 1555 East Woodward Heights Blvd., Hazel Park. Admission is free to the public. The camp will consist mainly of scrimmage games throughout the weekend, ending with an all-star game Sunday at which the 2011-12 roster will be selected.

All players who earn roster spots will report to Port Huron in August, with the team’s training camp taking place August 22-27. Following practice August 27, fans will have the opportunity to meet the players and conduct an informal Q&A session with the coaching staff.

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