Jets tab 16 in annual NA3HL draft

WATERFORD, Mich. – The Metro Jets participated in the North American 3 Hockey League draft on June 11 and chose 16 players with their selections.

More importantly, the Jets obtained the NA3HL rights to all the players they had on their draft list.

“We got every player we wanted,” said Metro assistant coach and draft coordinator Randy Wilson. “I must have seen close to 300 games last season being involved in the game at various levels throughout the state and we knew what players we wanted and I think we even saw a lot of games in areas of the state that no other teams scouted. (Jets’ coach) Jason (Cirone) did a great job acquiring future draft picks last season to the point where we had seven picks in the first three rounds.

“I think our guys did a great job scouting players and like I said, by going to parts of the state that is maybe out of the league footprint a little. I’m very happy with the way our draft turned out.”

All the players chosen are from Michigan – eight forwards and eight defensemen.

Wilson commented on each player and what they can bring to the Jets for the 2013-14 season.

1st round, 8th overall – Jimmy Roznowski, D, Divine Child High School
“A big, strong, character kid with great hands, a big point shot and just a ‘Steady Eddie’ defenseman.”

1st round, 13th overall – Tyler Layle, D, East Kentwood High School
“A good offensive player, big and strong and plays tough. He’s got some nasty in him, too.”

2nd round, 26th overall – Sebastian Stankiewicz, F, Detroit Country Day High School
“He’s a potential North American Hockey League player, a true power forward and a good two-way player.”

2nd round, 33rd overall – John Garst, D, Cheboygan High School
“The biggest of our ‘D’ that we drafted. He has good offensive upside and won’t hesitate to jump up into the rush. Has a good shot.”

2nd round, 36th overall – Ken Forton, D, Petoskey High School
“Your typical stay-at-home, ‘Steady Eddie’ defenseman, a real lunch pail-type player and a potential leader for us.”

3rd round, 38th overall – Zach Kopinski, F, Detroit Falcons AAA
“A two-way grinder who has a very good skill set and as the season wears on, seems to gain confidence.”

3rd round, 44th overall – Alex Zultowski, F, Plymouth Salem High School
“Very high energy-type player. A skilled forward who is tenacious on the puck and can play all three zones effectively.”

5th round, 75th overall – Kyle Downey, F, Plymouth Salem High School
“A hard-working role player who can chip in some offense.”

5th round, 80th overall – Cameron Russell, D, Detroit Falcons AAA
“A skilled player with very good lateral mobility with good hands.”

6th round, 98th overall – Hunter Rajala, D, Houghton High School
“Big, strong, tough defenseman who makes a great outlet pass. Is tough and physical in his own end.”

7th round, 116th overall – Cody Jones, F, West Bloomfield High School
“A skilled threat who has a gritty, physical side and can score.” Was also drafted by the Jets in the 2012 NA3HL draft.

8th round, 134th overall – Evan Wilson, F, Milford High School
“Plays a strong two-way game and can be a solid role player. Is very good on the penalty kill.”

9th round, 152nd overall – Travis Baranoski, F, East Grand Rapids High School
“See Kyle Downey. A real lunch pail-type forward who plays well in all three zones.”

10th round, 170th overall – Kyle Schnettler, D, Oxford High School
“He’s a smaller guy, but he has great feet and great mobility and can join the rush.”

11th round, 188th overall – Nicklas Pleshakov, D, Hartland High School
“Another skilled player who will have a shot in the NAHL this year. Good feet and a good skater with very good offensive instincts.”

12th round, 216th overall – Tyler Nabozny, F, Mattawan High School
“We were surprised he was still available when we selected here. He was drafted in the NAHL draft (by Odessa in the second round) and if he doesn’t play in the NAHL next year, he’ll certainly have an opportunity here with us.”

Next up for the Jets' is the team's tryout camp scheduled for August 9-11 at Lakeland Arena.

The 2013-14 NA3HL schedule will be released in the coming weeks.

The upcoming season marks the Jets' 25th as a junior hockey franchise.