Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Second-year Jets' defenseman Krajewski improving overall game

WATERFORD, Mich. – T.J. Krajewski is literally immersed in hockey 24/7.

A second-year defenseman with the Metro Jets, Krajewski works each day to progress his game and make strides, all while taking instruction from the Jets’ coaching staff.

One of the Jets’ assistant coaches is Krajewski’s father, Tom, a longtime youth hockey coach in Michigan.

According to the younger Krajewski, playing for his dad has never been a problem and in fact, is quite a privilege.

“It has been fairly easy,” said the 19-year-old from Macomb, Mich. “He doesn't really say much to me on the bench, but when he does, it's usually helpful and he explains what I could have done. He is just ‘Coach’ to me all the time – I rarely call him dad. When the boys come over, he is still just Coach. He is friends with everyone on the team and everybody loves him.”

Last year as a rookie with the Jets, Krajewski tallied two goals and 11 points in 35 games and this year, has recorded four goals and 12 points over 39 games.

Last offseason, Krajewski attempted to crack a North American Hockey League lineup, but when that fell through, it was a win-win situation to come back and skate in Waterford.

“I feel like I have gotten a lot faster in the last two seasons and have been able to make decisions faster on the ice,” Krajewski said. “Coach Q (Jets’ head coach Justin Quenneville) has his own gym (Michigan Athletic Training in Fraser) that me and fellow teammates Davide Mantovani and Carter Reid work out at three times a week. (Quenneville) has helped me out with my first three steps, which are now more explosive. Q is also a great coach that wants to see everyone move up to the NAHL. He really has helped me with my defensive and offensive abilities.”

Krajewski also talked of the numerous opportunities to get noticed by playing in the NA3HL.

“There are always some scouts at our games every time we play,” explained Krajewski. “When we went to the showcase in Chicago (last November), there were scouts everywhere and even though we struggled in the showcase a bit, there were still scouts at our games and Q always tries to sell us to the scouts that come.”

Those scouts will also have a say where Krajewski plays for the 2014-15 season, but for now, the priorities lie in getting Metro into the post-season.

”My short-term goals as of right now are to make playoffs and play for the Silver Cup,” said Krajewski. “Long-term is to play college hockey and move on from there.”

JET STREAKS 

The Jets have won 10 games at Lakeland Arena and 10 games on the road this season.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? 

Jack McCoy played with the Jets during the team’s early years and has worked his way up to be an on-ice official at the American Hockey League level.

McCoy, a Livonia, Mich., native who played NCAA Division III college hockey at Oswego State in the SUNYAC, has also worked as an on-ice official in the Ontario Hockey League, ECHL, International Hockey League and United Hockey League.

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