FRASER, Mich. – Next season, it’ll sure be different to see a No. 13 on the ice for the Metro Jets without No. 11 and No. 28.
But it sure will be nice to have that No. 13 back as talented scorer Mathias Tellstrom will be returning to the team for the 2016-17 NA3HL season, his last in junior hockey.
Michael Tratar (No. 11, aged out, looking at college options) and Kevin Shand (No. 28, aged out, committed to play NCAA Division III hockey at the Milwaukee School of Engineering), combined with Tellstrom, registered 228 points in 2015-16 (almost half of the team’s totals and top three in team scoring) before another 27 in four playoff games and 18 in five Silver Cup contests.
“Obviously, it will be a little different playing with new linemates and not skating next to ‘Trats’ and Shand because we had such good chemistry on and off the ice,” said Tellstrom, a 19-year-old native of Linkoping, Sweden. “And I will miss the lineys and I wish them luck for wherever their hockey career takes them, but I am looking forward to meeting two new guys that I can hopefully put up some points with and I hope we can become as close as me, Shand, and Tratar were.”
Last year, Tellstrom earned a call-up to the NAHL’s Kenai River Brown Bears and was also selected to play in the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament. He tallied 29 goals and 75 points in 41 regular-season games for the Jets and was named All-NA3HL Third Team and to the All-East Division Team.
“One of my favorite memories playing for the Jets was when we went to the Silver Cup and played in Chicago,” noted Tellstrom. “Not only were the hockey games fun, I loved hanging out with the boys. They were like brothers to me.”
Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville is elated to get a high-end player back at Fraser Hockeyland next season.
"’Telly’ had a big year for the Jets last year and for himself,” said Quenneville. “He had some opportunities in the NAHL and options in Europe to play professionally. For him to make the decision to return here shows his commitment to focusing on his development. He has high-end skill and possesses abilities that could translate to the next level, but he also knows to put in the necessary work to achieve his goals. We look forward on continuing to work with him and surrounding all these young men with as many opportunities as possible."
Tellstrom can’t wait to make the trek across Europe back to Michigan later this summer.
“I wanted to play for Metro again because I had such a good season last year and I have Coach Q, Jamie (Lovell) and Randy (Wilson) to thank for that,” said Tellstrom. “They taught me a lot of good things and I know if I stay for one more year, I know that they will teach me plenty more. Also, I know Metro is a great organization and I would love to be a part of that again. I can’t wait to go back to Detroit again because it has become a second home to me.
“I know that if I stay for another year they will help me develop even further and get me ready for pro hockey. I think it would be more beneficial for me to play here for Metro for one more season because they have such a great organization. I’m proud to represent them for one more year.”
After next season, Tellstrom is hoping pro hockey offers come his way and if he continues to develop at a rapid pace, he’ll realize a lifelong dream.
“I have had multiple discussions with Q and we have talked about the possibilities of me playing pro next year and luckily, he and the staff have played college and pro and can teach me habits that will help me to get to that goal I have of playing in pro hockey,” Tellstrom said. “Playing pro hockey is obviously my long-term goal and my short-term goals are to do whatever it takes to get me to that next level of hockey.”
Before any shot of pro hockey, Tellstrom has the 2016-17 season fresh on his mind.
“I think it’s really important to have good chemistry between the boys and the coaches,” said Tellstrom. “It’s also important to have high goals and I was disappointed last year being runner-up in the Silver Cup.
“I’m hungry for gold and I know the boys will be with me on that one.”