By Mason Lyttle (@MasonLyttle) | November 25, 2019 | 12:52pm
JANESVILLE, WI – Slovakian forward Ján Lašák has earned a call-up to the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Hockey League.
“This shows the opportunity that Janesville provides for players,” said head coach Corey Leivermann. “If you work hard, put in effort, and buy into our culture, you not only get opportunities for Division I scholarships, but opportunities to move up to the USHL, too.”
The ’02 winger had three points in his first game as a Jet (Sept. 27 vs. Fairbanks), and had at least a point in each of the Jets’ six consecutive victories from Nov. 2 through Nov. 22. He leaves Janesville tied for third in team scoring with 12 points, and second in goals with six.
Lašák, a 6th round pick of the Lumberjacks in last May’s USHL Phase II Draft, began the year in Muskegon, but didn’t appear in a game.
“I’m sure Ján wanted to start the year in Muskegon, like every kid on a USHL roster does, but he’s been a real impact player for us from the time we got him right after the [NAHL] Showcase all the way through this past weekend,” said Leivermann. “It’s great to see a kid like that, who has totally earned the opportunity, get his call-up to the USHL.”
Last November, the NAHL and the USHL announced a revised player movement agreement, allowing for more and better in-season opportunities for players between the two top junior hockey leagues in the United States. Under the new agreement, USHL teams can now automatically recall designated affiliate players playing in the NAHL, like Lašák, without a trade form under certain conditions.
“The relationship between our two leagues is super healthy,” said Leivermann, who played more than 100 games with the USHL’s Fargo Force from 2008-10. “Opportunities like this are going to be available to more and more players throughout the season because of the recent agreement. It’s good for kids’ confidence who come to our league, because they know that if they produce, they’ll get the call-up. We’re very happy for Ján and we know the kind of player he can be. We wish him success and expect great things from him.”
Lašák joins former Jet Christophe Fillion (2017) in Muskegon. The Lumberjacks next play Wednesday night at home versus the U.S. National U-17 team.