Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jets gearing up for NA3HL Draft on June 5

WATERFORD, MI – With the North American 3 Hockey League draft slated for next Tuesday, the Metro Jets are banking on acquiring high-level talent that can help the team advance farther in the NA3HL playoffs next spring.

That being said, the draft can sometimes be nothing more than a roll of the dice as many players that get drafted often have several options to play in other leagues.

Jets’ head coach Jason Cirone thinks the forward progress Metro has gone through the past two years should be an indication that the organization is committed to player development and moving players to higher levels.

“Usually when you have a decent season, players move on to higher levels because those teams take notice of what you’ve done as a team,” said Cirone. “If you have a bad team, no one notices you, but you still have to rebuild with better players. I think the position we’re in is a good problem to have.”

The Jets’ first pick won’t be until No. 11 in the first round, but once the draft process begins, Cirone said there is a game plan in place.

“We won’t draft by position because when you do that, I think you get into trouble,” Cirone said. “We’ll take the best available players and as a staff, we’ve been meeting one or two times a week since the season ended going over our draft lists. (Metro head scout) Tim Ross has been out there looking at guys and (Jets’ GM) Butch (Wolfe) has been out and about, along with Randy Wilson, who has been an ambassador for this program. I can’t say enough about how much these guys have done for this program.”

Looking at the draft, which at times can be the aforementioned roll of the dice, Steve Klisz was taken with pick No. 317 out of 320 total last year and wound up leading the Jets in scoring last season and finishing tied for second in the entire NA3HL.

2011 DRAFT REWIND: Cirone gives an ‘A’ to Jets’ draft – June 9, 2011

CRAZY EIGHTS: The Jets have also signed eight players to tender agreements for next season. A tender is a contract of sorts that a player signs denoting his commitment to a certain team in the league.

Defensemen Myles Burrough (Mt. Clemens Midget), Trevor Hillman (Detroit Falcons 18U/Metro Jets) and Brian Ziola (Detroit Falcons 18U) join forwards Tyler Groat (Wyandotte Roosevelt High School), Paul Krystyniak (Howell High School), Nick Murphy (Tri City Icehawks) and Tim Perks (Metro Jets) and goalie Andrew Brownlee (Howell High School/Metro Jets) as the players signed for next season.

Perks was on the Metro roster last season, but missed the year with a knee injury. Hillman was a first-round pick of the Jets in 2011 and Brownlee joined the Jets at the end of the season. All three were eligible to be drafted or tendered as they were not listed on the team’s final 25-man roster.

“I think with your tenders, you lean towards taking players by position,” added Cirone. “Last season as the season wore on, our defense wasn’t bad, but we got kind of shallow. I think we’ll have a stronger group this year.”

NAHL DRAFT THURSDAY: With the North American Hockey League draft going today, a handful of Jets’ players may become property of NAHL teams as early as this afternoon.

“I have heard from a lot of North American Hockey League teams and I think today will be an exciting day for our players,” said Cirone. “This isn’t the same league from when it was the Central States Hockey League and I think when a NAHL team drafts a kid from our league, they’re getting a kid with experience playing a high level of junior hockey.”

Klisz photo by Andy Grossman/Detailed Images

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bazin hangs up skates, will play lax at Olivet College

WATERFORD, MI – For former Metro Jets’ forward Cameron Bazin, it’s all about having options and having a plan.

After skating the past two seasons with the Jets in the North American 3 Hockey League, Bazin was hoping to go on to play college hockey starting this fall. While the offers didn’t exactly pour in for the 19-year-old Troy native, he will be going to Olivet College to play his other passion – lacrosse.

 “I don't want to accept that my hockey career is done, but it's something I have to do,” Bazin said. “I will definitely be playing beer leagues with my friends whenever I can, though. It's not something I 100 percent wanted to give up, but I just received a great opportunity from Olivet to go and play lax there.”

Bazin said the chance to play for Olivet, located about 30 miles south of Lansing and 125 miles west of Detroit, came about rather innocently.

“I always go help out my high school (Troy Athens) at practice, sometimes practicing with them and watching their games,” explained Bazin. “I talked with the head coach, Nick Stensen and the school AD, Bob Dowd, about my options for next year and Mr. Dowd introduced me to Olivet head lacrosse coach Mike O'Neill and everything else went from there.”

Bazin has coached the Troy middle school teams the past two years and said he “loves giving back to the kids and would do anything to help teach them the games I love.”

Bazin started playing lacrosse when he was a freshman at Athens in 2006, so to be getting an opportunity to play in college after getting a late start in the game is a testament to Bazin’s dedication and compete level.

The upcoming season will be Olivet’s first with a lacrosse program – an ideal situation in Bazin’s eyes.

“I am a very competitive person and hate losing in anything, like something as simple as rock paper scissors, so this is a great opportunity for me to go out and prove myself,” said Bazin. “I expect us as a program to start off strong and hopefully come out and win our division and make a run in the NCAA tournament. It will be a great experience for me and I am one to always work hard no matter what, while never backing down from anything. It should be a great all-around time at Olivet and I am looking forward to it.”

Away from the lacrosse field, Bazin said he plans to major in journalism at Olivet with an eye towards being a sports reporter down the line.

“Both hockey and lax share similar aspects and it was very easy for me to transfer from sport to sport,” Bazin said. “You definitely have to be physically and mentally tough in both sports. I chose lax over hockey just based off the opportunity I received to go play at an NCAA Division III school and compete with the best of the best. I felt playing lax at Olivet was a better fit than any of the hockey offers I received, as well as the great education I'll receive from the school.”

In 2010-11, Bazin tallied three goals and 10 points in 36 games and then this past year, he rang up seven goals and 20 points in 32 games.

“The past two years on the Jets have honestly been the best two years of hockey in my life,” beamed Bazin. “It was a great atmosphere both years and just a great group of guys to be on a team with. I learned a great amount from (Metro head coach Jason) Cirone and never will forget any of it. The thing I'll remember the most is all the guys from this past year, it was the closest team I've ever been on. Everyone from the team, I truly consider a brother and would do anything for those guys.

“The bond we all had can't even be described with words, but I love all the guys and wish everyone the best in their future. It was too bad we couldn't go out winning the league title.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

MacKinnon, Andrews, Shier represent well at 3HL Top Prospects

WATERFORD, MI – A trio of Metro Jets’ players took part in the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament earlier this month in Frisco, Tex., and all three played well in front of dozens of junior and college scouts.

Forwards Mike MacKinnon and Doug Andrews skated with defenseman Will Shier on Team East and wound up winning the showcase tournament with a 2-1 win over Team West on the final day back on May 6.

“The atmosphere was fun since the 3HL and NAHL were both there,” said MacKinnon. “I tried not to think about the scouts too much and just focus on playing my game.”

Team East was made up of players from the Jets, Flint Jr. Generals, Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks and Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins – teams that went to war against one another over the course of the 2011-12 regular season.

In Frisco, enemies on the ice became teammates.

“The team’s camaraderie was good from the first drop of the puck,” said Shier (pictured), who has already signed a playing tender with the NAHL’s Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings for next year. “I think we all realized we had to put prior feelings aside and come together to represent the East. We all wanted to show the league what the East Division was all about.”

“I had a good time getting to know all the guys from other teams and I thought we all got along really well,” added MacKinnon.

In the second game of the tournament, Team East defeated Team North by a 6-0 count. Shier scored the final goal of the game and MacKinnon drew an assist. In the opening game of the showcase on May 4, Andrews handed out an assist in the East’s 4-0 blanking of Team Central.

Next up for the Jets is a pre-NA3HL draft prospects camp June 1-3 at Lakeland Arena. More information is available at

The NA3HL draft is scheduled for June 5.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Jets' trio getting points at NA3HL Top Prospects event

FRISCO, Tex. – In the second game of the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament, Team East defeated Team North by a 6-0 count Saturday morning at the Dr Pepper StarCenter.

Metro Jets’ defenseman Will Shier scored the final goal of the game and forward Mike MacKinnon drew an assist on a goal by Fred West in the first period.

In the opening game of the showcase on Friday, Jets’ forward Doug Andrews handed out an assist to Edward Osowski in East’s 4-0 blanking of Team Central.

The third- and first-place games will be played Sunday.

Andrews photo by Andy Grossman/Detailed Images

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Jets announce 2012 summer hockey schools at Lakeland Arena

WATERFORD, MI – The Metro Jets have announced that they will be hosting a hockey school this summer at Lakeland Arena.

The Mini Mites and Squirts school is scheduled for July 16-20, while Squirt Travel and Bantam-aged players will receive instruction from July 23-27.

Camp times are Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon.

The camp will focus on three areas: power skating, on-ice skills (stickhandling, puck control, shooting, etc.) and off-ice training.

The cost of the camp is $280.

“This will be a very exciting school and we can’t wait to get started,” said camp director and Jets head coach Jason Cirone. “The instruction will be of the highest quality and the kids that come to our camp will leave with a greater knowledge of the game and a greater understanding of the basic fundamentals of the game.”

Ken Field, founder of Skating Dynamics and Battle Field Training Systems, will serve as the off-ice director. Field has over 15 years experience training players ranging from the youth level on up to the professional level.

Instructors and counselors for the school will be current and former Jets players.

For more information, please call 248-666-1911 or visit