WATERFORD, MI– With the North American 3 Hockey League draft slated for next Tuesday, the Metro Jets are banking on acquiring high-level talent that can help the team advance farther in the NA3HL playoffs next spring.
That being said, the draft can sometimes be nothing more than a roll of the dice as many players that get drafted often have several options to play in other leagues.
Jets’ head coach Jason Cirone thinks the forward progress Metro has gone through the past two years should be an indication that the organization is committed to player development and moving players to higher levels.
“Usually when you have a decent season, players move on to higher levels because those teams take notice of what you’ve done as a team,” said Cirone. “If you have a bad team, no one notices you, but you still have to rebuild with better players. I think the position we’re in is a good problem to have.”
The Jets’ first pick won’t be until No. 11 in the first round, but once the draft process begins, Cirone said there is a game plan in place.
“We won’t draft by position because when you do that, I think you get into trouble,” Cirone said. “We’ll take the best available players and as a staff, we’ve been meeting one or two times a week since the season ended going over our draft lists. (Metro head scout) Tim Ross has been out there looking at guys and (Jets’ GM) Butch (Wolfe) has been out and about, along with Randy Wilson, who has been an ambassador for this program. I can’t say enough about how much these guys have done for this program.”
Looking at the draft, which at times can be the aforementioned roll of the dice, it can sometimes find a diamond in the rough. Steve Klisz was taken with pick No. 317 out of 320 total last year and wound up leading the Jets in scoring last season and finishing tied for second in the entire NA3HL.
2011 DRAFT REWIND: Cirone gives an ‘A’ to Jets’ draft – June 9, 2011
CRAZY EIGHTS: The Jets have also signed eight players to tender agreements for next season. A tender is a contract of sorts that a player signs denoting his commitment to a certain team in the league.
Defensemen Myles Burrough (Mt.Clemens Midget), Trevor Hillman (Detroit Falcons 18U/Metro Jets) and Brian Ziola (Detroit Falcons 18U) join forwards Tyler Groat (Wyandotte Roosevelt High School), Paul Krystyniak (Howell High School), Nick Murphy (Tri City Icehawks) and Tim Perks (Metro Jets) and goalie Andrew Brownlee (Howell High School/Metro Jets) as the players signed for next season.
Perks was on the Metro roster last season, but missed the year with a knee injury. Hillman was a first-round pick of the Jets in 2011 and Brownlee joined the Jets at the end of the season. All three were eligible to be drafted or tendered as they were not listed on the team’s final 25-man roster.
“I think with your tenders, you lean towards taking players by position,” added Cirone. “Last season as the season wore on, our defense wasn’t bad, but we got kind of shallow. I think we’ll have a stronger group this year.”
NAHL DRAFT THURSDAY: With the North American Hockey League draft going today, a handful of Jets’ players may become property of NAHL teams as early as this afternoon.
“I have heard from a lot of North American Hockey League teams and I think today will be an exciting day for our players,” said Cirone. “This isn’t the same league from when it was the Central States Hockey League and I think when a NAHL team drafts a kid from our league, they’re getting a kid with experience playing a high level of junior hockey.”
Klisz photo by Andy Grossman/Detailed Images