By Mason Lyttle
JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), have acquired forward Kyle Patava from the Odessa Jackalopes in exchange for a fifth round pick in the 2017 NAHL Entry Draft. Patava previously played for the Jets from 2013 to 2015.
“We’re excited to see what Kyle can do for us,” said Jets head coach and general manager Joe Dibble. “Now he’s got a bit more seasoning, including some USHL experience, and we’ll see how he can fit into our locker room now as a veteran player.”
Patava, 20, played 74 games over two seasons in Janesville, tallying 19 goals and 35 assists for 54 points with the Jets. He moved up to the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers in November of 2014, playing the remainder of the season in his home state. Patava began last season with the NAHL’s Lone Star Brahmas before a midseason trade sent him to the Minnesota Wilderness, setting the stage for Patava to eliminate his former team in the Midwest Division Semi-Finals.
“That was kind of a weird feeling, for sure,” admitted Patava. “But at the same time, you have on a different jersey and you’re there to do the same job: win a playoff series. It was really fun to play against a franchise I was once a part of, and now I’m excited to be a part of it again.”
Patava played in 46 games in the 2015-16 NAHL regular season. Between the Brahmas and the Wilderness, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound forward scored 12 goals and added 10 assists for 22 points.
“I try to use my size a lot to be a powerful, 200-foot player,” Patava said. “If the team needs somebody to step up, I’m up for the challenge.”
Patava’s last game with Janesville was a 3-2 road shootout win over the Austin Bruins on Veteran’s Day, 2014. The only current Jets from that night’s roster are Adam Roeder, Cullen Munson, and Kip Hoffmann, who was drafted by the USHL’s Omaha Lancers earlier this month. As a veteran entering his last season of junior hockey, Patava understands his role as a locker room leader.
“I’ve put my time in in this league,” said Patava, who has played 136 regular season and postseason games in the NAHL, in addition to 42 USHL games with Des Moines. “I’ve had my ups and downs in my career, just like everybody else has, and I wouldn’t want to help lead any other team than the Jets. It’s my favorite team I’ve played on in the whole North American League. From the top to the bottom, it’s run the right way. I’m looking forward to coming back.”
Contact the Janesville Jets’ front office at (608) 752-JETS, or go to www.janesvillejets.com for details on player camps, season ticket information, and sponsorship opportunities. Stay connected to the Jets through Facebook (/janesvillehockey) and Twitter (@JanesvilleJets1).
— JANESVILLE JETS —