WATERFORD, MI – Josh Beleski had a choice to make last season – come play for the Metro Jets or stay in his hometown of Southgate and play his senior year for the Anderson High School team.
He chose high school and Jets coach Jason Cirone was fine with that decision.
“We drafted him and felt he was ready to make the jump to juniors last season,” Cirone said. “He made a personal decision and wanted to go play high school hockey and we respected that. This year, he’s shown he wants to be here and really been a consistent, steady force for us.”
This year, the 18-year-old Beleski is seventh in team scoring with seven goals (three on the power play) and eight assists for 15 points in 22 games.
“Josh is a guy I can count on in every situation and I know he’s going to do his job,” said Cirone. “He’s been doing it defensively by blocking shots on the penalty kill and also playing on the power play. In certain situations, you usually have kids who can only do certain things, but I think Josh does a lot of things very well and that’s why he plays in all situations.”
Cirone said Beleski has all the makings to be on a North American Hockey League roster next season.
“If he keeps working hard, I think North American League teams will start to take notice,” Cirone said. “Josh is dedicated to improving his game and I think he can definitely play at the next level. It all depends on how much he wants it and from how he’s played so far this season, I can see him playing up there next year.”
LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
The Jets are on holiday break, but will get back to practice later this week.
In their last game before the break on Dec. 18, the Flint Jr. Generals topped the Jets 7-6 in a shootout at Iceland Arena in Flint.
Metro’s next game action is at home against Flint on Saturday, Jan. 7 and then the following afternoon in Battle Creek.
With a slew of healthy forwards and Tim Perks ready to make his season debut after suffering a shoulder injury before the season, moves may be on the horizon for the Jets.
“We’re very forward-heavy and we need to do something,” said Cirone. “We’ll probably be moving some bodies in the next few weeks.”
The NA3HL trade deadline is the first week in February.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
The Kalamazoo Wings signed Dustin Cloutier, a forward who played for the Jets in 2003-04, last week to an ECHL contract.
Cloutier, a 25-year-old Berkley native, joins the K-Wings after starting this season in the Southern Professional Hockey League with the Augusta RiverHawks where he posted 33 points (10 goals, 23 assists) in 20 games.
Before turning pro, Cloutier was a four-year standout at Division I Bentley College (2007-11).