FRASER, Mich. – When Dylan Naumovski signed to play for the Metro Jets prior to the 2015-16 season, he had a pretty good idea he was joining a high-end NA3HL squad capable of winning a championship.
When the Jets fell in the Silver Cup National Championship final last April, that meant Naumovski had but one option for the 2016-17 season.
“That one game that we fell short brought me back with a vengeance to go out with a bang,” said the 20-year-old defenseman out of Macomb, Mich. “My goals this season are to be a great teammate and to help the team in any way possible.”
During the 2015-16 season, Naumovski posted five goals and 19 points over 33 games and had already eclipsed those numbers this season as in 16 games, has rang up seven goals among 20 points.
Last year, he also earned a call-up to the NAHL’s Kenai River Brown Bears.
“’Nemo’ has a high-end skill set for a defenseman and when he came to us last year, there pretty much wasn’t anything he couldn’t do,” Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville said. “We worked on simplifying his game and making quicker decisions. His success and opportunities came from his character. He is a hockey player, loves his teammates and is willing to do whatever it takes for his team. Nemo had the opportunity to play in the NAHL this season, but chose to stay home and play out his eligibility with the Jets. That just goes to show you what kind of kid he is.”
Naumovski also serves as one of the Jets’ three alternate captains with fellow blueliners Jason Recchia and Marc Schwartz and team captain Graham Day.
“My game hasn’t changed just because I have a letter on my jersey,” Naumovski said. “I just want to touch on things we lacked last year to become a better team than last year. It’s been great this year, couldn’t ask for a better group of guys.
“The guys are really starting to gel together and hopefully, it stays this way and we continue to produce.”
In his final season of junior hockey eligibility, Naumovski has his eye on playing college hockey next year and off the ice, going to school to pursue a business and finance degree.
November is Jets Education Awareness Month.
All three games (Nov. 5, 12. 19 – all Saturdays) will be school supplies drives. The game on Nov. 19 is also being run by the Sterling Heights Nationals baseball team for their trip to Cooperstown, N.Y., next spring.
In addition, the annual toy drive game is on Saturday, Dec. 10.