SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League continues to see its players earn opportunities to compete at the next level.
The latest pair of NOJHLers to announce commitments to university programs are Blind River Beavers standout forward Caleb Serre and Powassan Voodoos defenceman Jack Craycroft.
Serre, the NOJHL’s Most Valuable Player in 2019-20, has confirmed he’ll be off to Laurentian University in Sudbury to attend school and skate for the Voyageurs men’s program while Craycroft is heading to Iowa State University where he will be part of the Cyclones, who are members of the American Collegiate Hockey Association.
“I will be going to Laurentian this fall to further my education and to continue playing,” offered the NOJHL MVP.
Serre had a tremendous year for his hometown Blind River side, leading all league players in goals (47); assists (66); points (113); power play tallies (17); man advantage helpers (26) and game-winning goals (10).
Wrapping up his final year of Jr. A hockey, the first team all-star played in 210 regular season contests in the NOJHL while collecting 269 points on 117 goals while helping set-up 152 others along the way.
“I’m looking forward to getting things going,” added the skilled forward on his commitment to play OUA/U SPORTS hockey.
Blind River head coach and general manager Kyle Brick knows Laurentian is getting a quality player and person.
“When Caleb joined us four years ago, we said we needed to change the culture and he did that for us,” stated Brick.
It wasn’t just on the ice but off as well, Caleb was able to bring the community together and reinstated their love for this hockey team”, summarized the Blind River bench boss. “He gave us everything the last four years and we wish him all the best in the future.”
As for Craycroft, he goes to Iowa State of the ACHA after wrapping up his Jr. A career with Powassan.
Joining the Voodoos in early December, the Ankenny, Iowa native scored once and added 14 assists in 26 outings while helping solidify the back-end of the top team in the league’s overall regular season standings.
“I am really thankful that I found a home in Powassan,” said Craycroft.
“The whole staff always had my future and best interest in mind. They reached out to many schools for me and really laid all my options out in front of me so I could make the best decision for my future,” the blueliner concluded.
Powassan itself is pleased to help another one of its players move on.
“We are very happy for Jack being able to join a solid program close to his home,” stated Voodoos’ general manager and vice-president of hockey operations Chris Dawson.
“Jack joined us as a defenceman looking for a new home and left as a top-four defender on a first-place team. I credit Jack and of course our coaching staff for working together to make that smooth transition.”
The Cyclones program is also pleased to recruit a defenceman of Craycroft’s calibre.
“We are very excited that Jack has decided to continue his hockey career and education next season at Iowa State University,” provided head coach Jason Fairman.
“We were immediately impressed with his abilities and play at defence, but we were even more impressed with the character and maturity he displayed during the recruiting process. He is a very motivated individual and we anticipate him making an immediate impact with Cyclone Hockey.”
With files from David Harrison, NOJHL Historian
NOJHL commitment tracker (As of May 8/20)
BLIND RIVER BEAVERS
Jackson Hjelle, (G) Gustavus Adolphus (MIAC)
Kyle Quinn, (F) UNLV (ACHA)
Dominic Boily, (G) Maryville (ACHA)
David Campbell, (F) North Bay (OHL)
Lucas Adams, (F) Maryville (ACHA)
Caleb Serre, (F) Laurentian (OUA)
ELLIOT LAKE WILDCATS
Connor Taylor, (F) Northland College (WIAC)
Mattais Salem, (D) Laurentian (OUA)
FRENCH RIVER RAPIDS
Spencer Silver, (F) Plattsburgh (SUNYAC)
Max Griffioen, (F) Nipissing (OUA)
KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS
Parker Bowman, (F) Nipissing (OUA)
Riley Pitt, (D) Oshawa (OHL)
Jack Craycroft, (D) Iowa State (ACHA)
Zacharie Giroux, (F) Flint (OHL)
Brett Jacklin, (F) Laurentian (OUA)
Mitchell Martin, (F) Kitchener (OHL)
Cameron Lamour, (G) North Bay (OHL)
Giordano Biondi, (F) Sudbury (OHL)
David Bowen, (G) Drummondville (QMJHL)
Cameron Lamour, (G) North Bay (OHL)
Jake Lamberty, (F) Northland College (WIAC)
Shane Brancato, (G) Trine (NCHA)
Joel Brandinger, (F) Tufts (NESCAC)
Josh Anderson, (D) Nipissing (OUA)