FRASER, Mich. – And make it four.
The offseason college commitments for the Metro Jets continued Wednesday as goaltender Trevor Kalinowski will play ACHA hockey at Adrian College starting this fall.
Previously, defenseman Jake Rutkoske (NCAA Division III Northland College) and forwards Kevin Shand (NCAA D-III Milwaukee School of Engineering) and Spencer Graham (ACHA Aquinas College) announced their intentions for this fall.
Kalinowski began the 2015-16 season in a battle with Kam Limburg and Austin Kane for playing time in the Metro net before a torn labrum in his hip in late September sidelined the 20-year-old Commerce Township, Mich., native the rest of the year.
Still, Kalinowski worked to stay in shape and keep his game as sharp as possible before getting the chance with Adrian.
“The opportunity came out of nowhere,” Kalinowski said. “Adrian originally wasn't on my radar, but their coach contacted me and after a visit, it became the best option. Our goalie coach (Randy Wilson) also recommended Adrian as a good fit for me.”
Being off the ice was admittedly tough for Kalinowski in his last year of junior eligibility, but said he found the positives and focused on those.
“I tried to stay off of the ice for a week or two to rest and come back, but it did not work,” Kalinowski said. “I realized I was going to have to get surgery and will be going in May 3 to undergo my operation. It wasn't hard watching from the sidelines thanks to the support of the boys and being able to help out around the rink in any way I could.”
Adrian has three former Jets with the program in defenseman Josh Hosking and forwards Cooper McLean and Zach MacKay.
“I was familiar with Adrian's program from a preseason game against their ACHA Division I team back in the 2012-13 season,” said Kalinowski. “It will be nice to see the boys again. The program is highly competitive and I'm excited to compete and push the other goaltenders every day.”
In the classroom at Adrian, Kalinowski has his eye on pursuing a major in biology with a focus geared towards the medical field.
Kalinowski played for the Jets from 2012-14 and then this past year.
Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville saw Kalinowski progress each season he was with Metro.
"’Kali’ was a big part of this team's success, regardless of how it played for him,” Quenneville said. “At the end of the day, he will move on ending his junior career as a Jet and that's how he wanted it. Adrian will be acquiring a high work ethic, coachable and passionate player in Trevor. I remember a few years ago when he played an integral role when I first took over a team that needed a spark to get themselves just to a playoff spot. We wish Kali the best of luck and he will be joining other fellow Jets alums who are doing big things with a top-notch program.”
“The three years with Metro were some of the best years of my hockey career,” added Kalinowski. “I made leaps and bounds in my development thanks to ‘Q,’ Randy, (assistant coach) Jamie Lovell and (former head coach) Jason Cirone. They gave me a platform and the resources to push myself to achieve my goals. Looking back to my first year, I wouldn't have known much about ACHA hockey and being able to play at that level.
“It’s almost ironic that my junior hockey career began with our first game against Adrian in a preseason matchup and now I'm going to start my college career there.”
And even after surgery next week, Kalinowski is ready for summer training.
“I’m very excited for this summer,” said Kalinowski. “After I am cleared to get back on the ice, I plan on skating with a lot of the boys at Fraser Hockeyland until we have to leave for the start of the school year. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to train with Randy and use the MAT (Michigan Athletic Training, located inside Fraser Hockeyland) to get game-ready.”
Stay tuned as more Jets college commitments will be announced in the coming days.