FRASER, Mich. – The college placements keep coming for the Metro Jets.
Forward Michael Tratar is now the ninth player from the 2015-16 season to move on to college hockey as the Madison Heights, Mich., native has committed to play ACHA hockey at Adrian College this fall.
Tratar will join former Jets goaltender Trevor Kalinowski at Adrian as Kalinowski committed earlier this offseason.
“The opportunity to go to Adrian came up about a month into summer when Coach Q (Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville) notified me that Adrian had called him to ask about me,” said the 20-year-old Tratar. “From there, Coach (Max) Gavin and I talked all summer about visiting and seeing if Adrian was a fit or not, and it was.
“I know that Adrian is a private liberal arts school with a beautiful campus. As for the hockey team, I know Adrian has a strong team every year and I’m excited to get the opportunity to come in and help make an impact right away. It’s always difficult going to a new team and not knowing anyone right away, so with ‘Kali’ going, I think it’ll make the transition much easier.”
In the classroom, Tratar said he plans on majoring in business sports management and minoring in business finance.
“’Trats’ was a special player and every game, he gave us 110 percent,” said Quenneville. “He played in every situation for this team and was a big reason for the club’s success. He had several NCAA college opportunities by the end of the season, but in the end found that Adrian would be the best fit for him. At the end of the day, Adrian will be getting a hard-working player who has a high-level hockey IQ. We wish Michael the best of luck.”
After coming to the Jets last summer in a trade with the West Michigan Wolves, Tratar emerged as one of the NA3HL’s top scorers playing on a line with Kevin Shand and Mathias Tellstrom, registering 19 goals and 72 points to finish third in team scoring and 10th overall in the league.
Shand, a Milwaukee School of Engineering (NCAA Division III) commit, was first on the Jets and third in the NA3HL with 81 points and Tellstrom, who will return to the Jets in 2016-17, was eighth in the league and second on Metro with 75 points.
“Well, when you play with two players as skilled as Shand and ‘Telly,’ it makes my job pretty easy – just pass the puck to them,” laughed Tratar. “I think last year helped me most on making quicker decisions everywhere on the ice, my defensive play, and making smarter decisions with the puck.”
More than anything, Tratar said getting to the Silver Cup championship game last April and having the successful season the Jets had will stay in his memory bank for a lifetime.
“When I think of last year, all I can think of is thanking all the coaches for everything they did because they did a lot more than people know, and to thank the boys for an unbelievable last junior season,” said Tratar. “I couldn’t have had the last year I did without any of them.”