FRASER, Mich. – It’s onward and upward for former Metro Jets captain David Chavis II.
Just five games into the North American 3 Hockey League season, Chavis has been called up to play with the Aston Rebels of the North American Hockey League.
Chavis previously played in the NAHL during the 2013-14 season with the Odessa Jackalopes and had a stint with the Minnesota Wilderness in 2014-15.
Now, the 20-year-old native of Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., is ready for a fresh start with the Pennsylvania-based Rebels and has the Jets coaching staff, including coach-GM Justin Quenneville, to credit.
“Last year, I trusted Q's process and just worked as hard as I could every day,” said Chavis. “His methods paid off, and now I've got an opportunity thanks to Q and the rest of the Metro Jets coaching staff. This opportunity actually came up when the Rebels were still the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees down in Texas. Aston coach Joe Coombs and Coach Q have a good relationship and when Rio needed to add a few guys to the back end, it was a natural fit for me.”
"I'm glad we were able to provide this opportunity to David early and continue this platform for players in our program to develop and advance,” Quenneville said. “He's a force defensively on the ice and an even better person off the ice. Joe and I talked about the timing of his opportunity and he felt after the NAHL Showcase in Blaine (Minn.) would be a good time for him. He is deserving and we wish him the best of luck.”
Chavis popped eight goals among 26 points last year for the Jets and also finished plus-39, good for a tie for tops in the NA3HL. He also scored the Jets first goal in their 4-3 win over the West Michigan Wolves last Saturday night at home.
“Q and Coach Randy (Wilson) played a huge role in getting me back into the NAHL,” explained Chavis. “Not only did they help me on and off the ice every day during training all last season and all this past summer, but they went to bat for me and really helped put my name out there for potential teams to take notice and give me a shot. Without them, I definitely would not be where I am now.”
And with this season being Chavis’ final year of junior eligibility, he wants to do nothing more than leave it all on the ice.
“My expectations are to obviously win a championship, but also to develop as much as possible so when the chance to play college hockey happens, I can be ready and confident to play at such a high level,” noted Chavis. “What I need to do to accomplish this and stay in Aston all year is work as hard as I can but also to be consistent every day.”
The Rebels host the Johnstown Tomahawks and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights this weekend at the Ice Works Skating Complex in Aston.
LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
Mathias Tellstrom’s power-play goal at 10:54 of the third period snapped a 3-3 tie and the Jets held on the rest of the way for a 4-3 win over West Michigan last Saturday night at Fraser Hockeyland.
Tellstrom, a native of Linkoping, Sweden, said he was just in the right place at the right time on his game-winner.
“I had an open net and the puck was standing up, so I just tried to get it to the net,” said Tellstrom. “And it went in.”
Kevin Shand scored two goals in the second period for the Jets, who also got a goal from Chavis in the final minute of the first period.
“(West Michigan) is a competitive team,” Quenneville said. “These last two games, they’ve set the tone that they’re coming to play and there’s no intimidation on their end. They’ve really thrown us everything and the kitchen sink these first two games.”
The Jets previously defeated the Wolves in a 2-1 shootout Sept. 19 at Fraser.
Metro goaltender Kam Limburg stopped 30 shots for the Jets, while Kevin O’Shea kicked aside 47 at the other end.
“We were playing well in the defensive zone, blocking a lot of shots,” said Limburg. “We moved the puck well and when we got pressure in their zone, we kept the pressure coming, so I thought that went well for us. I felt good and I thought I was tracking the puck well. I felt I played the puck well, too, and had good rebounds for the most part and made the big saves when I needed to.”
Michael Tratar assisted on both of Shand’s goals.
Ryan Price, Devan Bayne and Nathan Rieman scored for West Michigan, which falls to 2-2-1.
The Jets (4-1-0) host the Pittsburgh Vengeance (3-2-0) this weekend at Fraser Hockeyland in a rematch of opening weekend when the Jets swept Pittsburgh on the road.
Game time Saturday night is 7:30 p.m., followed by a 12:30 p.m. start time on Sunday.
Fans can purchase tickets for $2 tomorrow night at the Fraser Hockeyland box office from 6-8 p.m.
All Jets games this season will be made available on www.fasthockey.com.
Rookie forward Mathieu Laforest was released prior to last weekend’s game.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Forward Ryan Bloom, a 19-year-old Northville, Mich., native who scored eight goals (two game-winners) and 10 points in seven games with the Jets a year ago, has moved up to the NAHL’s Minnesota Wilderness this season.
He began the 2014-15 season with the NAHL’s Michigan Warriors before joining the Jets at the roster freeze deadline in February.
Bloom, who turns 20 on Oct. 10, was the lone NA3HL player drafted in June’s NAHL draft.
In six games so far with the Wilderness, Bloom has registered two goals and an assist.