He’s just 16 years old, but Metro Jets’ forward Ian Springfield’s game has mirrored that of a junior hockey veteran so far this season.
Springfield has just two goals in 10 games (scored in his first two games of the season), but ask him about the rigors of the North American 3 Hockey League and a smile comes across the Sterling Heights native’s face.
“I think my season is going pretty good so far,” said Springfield, who goes 6-foot-1 and 165 pounds. “It’s been a little rough playing with these guys who are a lot older than me, but I like challenges. The NA3 is a pretty big jump from where I played last year (Michigan Ice Hawks Midget AA) and to be honest, before this season, I had only heard about juniors one other time, but I heard about the league a couple times from a few friends.”
Selected by Metro in the 10th round (165th overall) of this past summer’s NA3HL Entry Draft, Springfield was tabbed at that time by Jets’ coach Jason Cirone as “a big-bodied kid who can come in and fill a role for us and would benefit from a year or two in this league.”
Springfield has done just that and has let the veterans and Cirone show him the ropes.
“Derek Britton, Doug Andrews and Travis Hargett have really helped me out this season and I give them a lot of credit,” said Springfield. “Honestly, coach Cirone is scary when you first see him, but then you get to know him and he’s really funny and one really good coach. Definitely not scary any more.”
And when asked what his expectations are the rest of the way, Springfield said “a lot of goals, a lot of assists.”
Aside from the stats, Springfield wants to simply keep improving and developing and hopefully, open up some doors for future advancement.
“I’m hoping to work on a better and harder shot and to slow the game down with my head, but keep my hands and feet moving all the time,” Springfield. “That’s probably the biggest area I want to work on.
“I also want to skate faster, have more confidence and have the chance to at least go to the NAHL or even college. Really, I’m hoping I can one day play professional hockey and I am willing to put in the hard work and make the sacrifices.”