FRASER, Mich. – Tanner Neill had always watched the Metro Jets from afar and had heard bits and pieces about the organization.
This season, the rookie forward out of Farmington Hills is seeing up close and personal why the Jets have been so successful for the past 30 years.
“I found out about the Jets close to the end of my senior year (at Farmington High School, where he played four years on the varsity team) and contacted them,” said Neill, who turned 19 on Dec. 20. “I heard from multiple people how good of an organization it was, and I knew about some of their history with prior seasons.
“The Jets can provide you everything you need to up your game and make you a better person. They have all the connections and the tools you could ever need to get to the next level.”
As for personal goals this season, Neill said he’s not one to use numbers.
“This year, I just hope to learn some new habits about the game,” said Neill. “I think it’s going pretty well, but I know I just have to keep working on the little habits the coaches preach and try to up my game a bit. It’s a great environment and all the boys gelled really well together from the start.”
Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville knows having a player like Neill can only be a positive for the team.
“The first day I met Tanner in my office this past summer, you could tell all he wanted to do was keep playing hockey,” said Quenneville. “He is a great kid and has a great attitude. Like most coming out of high school hockey, he had some adjustments to make and find ways to match the pace of junior hockey. He has a sneaky skill set in tight areas and a good stick.
“Hopefully he continues to benefit from this platform because he loves the game and the coaches love his positivity.”
Heading into January, Neill wants to see the Jets play well into March.
After that, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep playing the game he loves.
“I’d say my long-term goal would definitely be to play at a university for four years while I go to school,” Neill said. “I’d like to stay in the game after I graduate, whether it’s coaching or training.”
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