Friday, November 15, 2013

Metro defenseman Hepler improving at two-way game

WATERFORD, Mich. – It’s not often a defenseman leads his team in scoring, but that’s what Brad Hepler is doing this year for the Metro Jets.

A second-year vet, Hepler has recorded 18 points going into this weekend, but said he is just playing a simple game and the luck is going his way.

“I have been working hard on my passing and getting the puck to the open guy,” said the 19-year-old from Chelsea. “The forwards have been doing a good job at what they do.”

Acquired last year from the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks for forward Jeff Monfils, Hepler attended several main tryout camps for North American Hockey League teams this past summer, but came up just a bit short.

He said it was a no-lose situation as coming back to Waterford can only help his game.

“So far this season, I believe that I have been steady, but there is still room for improvement,” Hepler said. “As far as the team goes, we need to keep working hard and improve our overall game as a team. Coach Justin (Quenneville) has been doing a great job at taking over and making us a better team and all the players, including myself, like Coach Justin and his systems.”

On the ice, it’s hard not to notice Hepler as his 6-foot-4 frame immediately is on display.

“I think on the offensive side, my size limits other players from getting to the puck,” explained Hepler. “On the defensive side, my size becomes a factor in blocking shots and clearing the zone.”

Already armed with the knowledge needed to crack an NAHL team this year or next, Hepler wants to keep contributing for Metro with an eye on his future.

“My goals are to hopefully get called up to an NAHL team this year or next year and then playing for a good college program,” said Hepler. “Our team goal is to finish up the second half of the year strong and make the playoffs.”


Kyle Shreve, a forward that skated with the Jets last year, is currently on the NAHL's Springfield Jr. Blues roster.

The 18-year-old Walled Lake native has registered three goals and eight points so far in 16 games with the Jr. Blues.

During the 2012-13 campaign with the Jets, Shreve averaged a point per game with 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points in 24 games.

Shreve signed a tender agreement last season with Springfield.

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