JANESVILLE – The Janesville Jets tendered the playing rights of defensemen Nick Jenny and Blake Wareham, securing their services for the 2015-2016 season.
Wareham, a 17-year-old from Park Ridge, Illinois, is in his second year for the Chicago Mission U18 of the High Performance Hockey League. He said he attended a Jets practice and knew right away Janesville was the next step for him.
“I’m honored to be given this opportunity,” said the 5’11”, 154-pound Wareham. “I look forward to what my future with the Janesville Jets has in store for me.”
“Wareham’s got an unbelievable stick, he’s very good defensively, he has good edges and good hips for a defenseman,” said Jets head coach Joe Dibble. “He’s gonna be able to keep good gaps for us and probably get some penalty kill minutes for us as a rookie as well.”
Jenny, also in his second year playing U18, skates for the Ohio Blue Jackets of the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League. An inch shorter yet 30 pounds heavier than Wareham, Jenny is equally excited to wear the blue and gold.
“It feels great to be a part of such a great organization,” said the 18-year-old Jenny. “I cannot wait to be up in Janesville next year and bring what I have to the table.”
Dibble sees Jenny as more of an offensive defenseman than Wareham.
“He can jump into the play and make some offense,” said Dibble, who also serves as the team’s general manager. “He’s gonna be an exciting player to watch.”
Both defensemen are right-handed shots and should help ease the Jets’ blue line through the transition of losing Ian Janco and Zach Yoder, who will each age out after this season. Dibble says he doesn’t shy away from leaning on first-year players, if they prove they’re accountable.
“We’ve had to rebuild every year since I’ve been here,” said Dibble, who is in his third season coaching the Jets. “It doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or if you’re 20. If you can play the game and if you’re a good teammate, we’re gonna give you an opportunity. For us, it’s gonna be, “what are you gonna bring to the table to help the team win?””