By Mason Lyttle
JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), have signed forward Sam Renlund to a tender contract, securing his services for the 2017-18 season.
A tender is a contract a team offers a prospect to reserve his rights for the upcoming NAHL season. When a player signs a tender, his rights belong to that team within the NAHL, and he may not be recruited or drafted by any other member club. Each team is granted 10 tenders, which become active on November 1 of each season, and which they can either use on a prospect or trade to another NAHL club.
Renlund (5-11/174) is a 2000-born forward who just finished his second season with the Omaha Lancers 16U program in the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL). Last month, the 16U Lancers completed a perfect 22-0 season with a decisive 8-0 victory over the Valley Forge Minutemen. Renlund played and scored in every game this season, and finished first in the NAPHL’s 16U Division with 63 points and an astounding 2.74 points per game.
“Obviously if you followed statistics alone, Sam’s performance this year with a great hockey team stands out,” said Jets head coach and general manager Joe Dibble. “Anytime a kid can rack up almost three points a game, that’s going to open some eyes. But when we watched Sam play, we saw more than his offensive abilities. He’s an incredibly smart hockey player who sees the game well in all three zones, and can even grind and play a heavy style. He fits what we’re looking for.”
Renlund becomes the latest tender Janesville has signed out of the NAPHL. This season’s Jets include 88 players with NAPHL experience, including Alec Semandel (Madison Capitols U18, 2015-16), Jack Gates (Anaheim Jr. Ducks 16U, 2014-15), Keegan Miller (Lansing Capitals 16U, 2011-12), and TJ Polglaze, who, like Renlund, left Wisconsin to develop in the Omaha program. Polglaze played parts of three seasons in Omaha, and finished with 23 goals and 38 points in 63 games between the 16U and 18U teams.
“The NAPHL was really good for my development,” Renlund said. “It sets you up well. You play a lot of games, a tough schedule, short turnarounds, lots of back to backs. It all gets you ready for the NAHL.”
Renlund, a native of Verona, joined the Lancers in 2015 after an impressive freshman season at Verona Area High in which he tallied 38 points in 24 games. The winger committed to Colorado College two months ago, and is excited to sign a tender with a team so close to home.
“When I was looking at teams in the NAHL, this was the spot my parents wanted to see me play,” Renlund said. “It would be nice to be just a few minutes from home.”
“At the end of the day, we try to fill our roster and our prospect pipeline with the most talented and dedicated young men we can find, whether they’re from Wisconsin or Jupiter,” joked Dibble. “But it’s always great when you can find talent from your backyard.”
After a week off, the Jets return to action next Tuesday for a Valentine’s Day visit to the Nelson Ice Arena as they take on the Springfield Jr. Blues, and follow up with an away-and-home series versus the Coulee Region Chill on Friday and Saturday. Tickets and group rates are still available for next Saturday’s game by visiting www.janesvillejets.com/tickets or by calling the Jets ticket office at (608) 752-JETS. Stay connected to the Jets through Facebook (/janesvillehockey) and Twitter (@JanesvilleJets1).