FRASER, Mich. – Only three weeks into the season and the Metro Jets have done the same as they’ve done the past two seasons – be the first NA3HL team to promote a player to the NAHL ranks during the season.
This time, steady defenseman Nick Foran has been called up to the Coulee Region Chill and will skate with the club in this upcoming weekend’s NAHL Showcase event in Blaine, Minn. The showcase is always a highly-attended, highly-scouted event by NCAA and NHL brass alike.
Foran, an 18-year-old Brighton, Mich., native, signed a tender agreement with the Jets over the summer and in four games this season, rang up four assists with a plus-4 rating.
“Coach Q (Justin Quenneville) called me after Saturday’s nights win to let me know about Coulee,” said Foran. “I knew they had some interest and I am excited Metro helped me get there. This weekend’s showcase should be a great experience and as far as the scouts go, you can’t really think about them too much. You just need to stick to what you know and play the same game you always do. I just need to play a simple game and make 100 percent of my plays.”
Quenneville said advancing players to college hockey and higher levels of junior hockey is what the Jets program focuses on as priority No. 1.
“Nick is a talented player,” said Quenneville. “He signed a tender with us knowing that his goal was to play at the highest level. Like everyone else, he needed to work on his game and he came here with the right mindset and worked hard.”
Before the Jets, skating for a top-notch high school program at Brighton was a positive situation as well.
“Playing at Brighton really helped prepare me for junior hockey because I had a great coaching staff that knew what it took to make it to the next level and they worked hard every day, always pushing me to reach my goals of moving on in my hockey career,” said Foran.
Quenneville added that while seeing Foran head to the NAHL is a hole to fill, there is a silver lining.
“With our defense situation and getting a couple players back early in the season, our coaching staff thought it was a good opportunity for Nick to move up,” Quenneville said. “Obviously, he’ll have to prove himself up there, but we wish him the best of luck. At the end of the day, this is what we do. This is our league, this is our model. With the Jets, we take pride in developing and promoting players. We have that opportunity because our owner, Pete Cammick, allows us to operate with this platform.
“This is nothing new for the Jets or the NA3, and in my time at this level, the players that educate themselves about our models clearly continue to benefit time and time again.”
And while only with Metro for four games, Foran saw firsthand what the organization is all about when it comes to player development and advancement.
“It really just goes to show that the coaching staff here really cares about their players and is always working hard to advance them and do what is in their best interests,” said Foran. “In my time here with Metro, the coaching staff really helped me with simplifying my game and always making the smart, easy play that makes the game easier for me and my teammates and helps lead us to success.”
Pressing forward, Foran said his goals with hockey are to play NCAA Division I or Division III and he plans to graduate college with a degree in business and find a job in that field.