By Mason Lyttle
JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), have signed defensemen Tony Follmer, Max Techel, and Luke LaMaster to tender contracts, securing their NAHL rights for the 2018-19 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 became active on November 1, and which they can either use on a prospect or trade to another NAHL club.
Follmer (6-2/170) is a 2000 birth year from O’Fallon, MO, the same St. Louis suburb that produced former Jets captain Adam Roeder. Follmer plays for the St. Louis Blues U18 AAA program and has recorded five assists in 11 games this season.
“I’m a two-way defenseman,” Follmer said of his game. “I rush the puck and make plays with my speed, but can also be a shutdown defenseman in the defensive zone. Signing a tender with Janesville was a very easy decision because of the reputation their organization has of moving players forward to the USHL and Division I college hockey. I’m very excited to get in a Jets uniform and start my junior career with them.”
“Tony is a coach’s dream. He comes to the rink every day and puts his work boots on. Janesville is getting a phenomenal hockey player and an extremely humble and hard-working person.” — Michael Barre, Asst. Coach, St. Louis AAA Blues U18
“Tony came out and practiced with us, and I was really impressed at how poised he was and how he competed during our practices. You can see his skill set and we’ll excitedly continue to follow his progress during this season.” — Gary Shuchuk, Jets Head Coach & General Manager
Techel (5-10/170) is another 2000 birth year, coming from Wausau, WI. Techel recently completed his fall “Before” season of with Team Wisconsin in the Minnesota HS Elite League, skating in 21 games and registering two goals and nine assists for 11 points. Coaches considered Techel, who will now play his senior season with for Wausau West High, the most improved player during TW’s fall season.
Like Follmer, Techel sees himself as a modern, two-way defenseman.
“I’m a two-way defensive player who thinks defense first,” he said. “But I love to jump on the offensive side when I see an opportunity. My acceleration and mobility are probably my strongest assets as a defenseman. I’m extremely excited to have tendered with the Janesville Jets. It’s close to home and consistently one of the best teams in the NAHL. I can’t wait to put on a Jets jersey.”
“Max is a pitbull on the ice and we were very impressed with him when he came and skated with us a couple of times. He’s a great skater and uses those strengths when he’s out there. He’s not afraid to battle guys bigger and stronger than him, and it showed when he competed with Team Wisconsin in the Elite League.” — Gary Shuchuk
LaMaster (6-1/174) is a late 1999 birth year from Duluth, MN, and has already put together an impressive hockey resume.
LaMaster is a senior defenseman and captain at Duluth East High School and has put together an outstanding career as a Greyhound. LaMaster played for Team North this fall in the Minnesota HS Elite League’s “Before” season, posting four goals and adding nine assists for 13 points across 20 games.
LaMaster also identifies as a two-way defenseman.
“I think of myself as a two-way defenseman, good in the defensive zone but can help contribute in the offensive zone as well,” said LaMaster. “I’m really excited to sign with the Janesville Jets and be a part of one of the best organizations in the NAHL.”
“I have heard nothing but positive things about Luke from coaches in the Elite League and colleges. We watched Luke this past fall and were very impressed with his compete level and decision making on the ice. He’s only going to get better and better, and he should have a great senior year at Duluth East..” — Gary Shuchuk
Becoming a great development program for NCAA hockey means building for the future while focusing on the season at hand. A busy week for the Jets coaching staff of practice and tendering futures wraps up tomorrow at the Janesville Ice Arena. The Jets host the Springfield Jr. Blues for their second annual Salute to Service weekend, a two-day benefit event featuring specialty camo jerseys which will be auctioned off on the DASH Auction App with proceeds going to area veterans organizations. Click here for tickets, or go to any Janesville area Lions Quick Marts location for discounted ticket vouchers. Stay connected to the Jets through Facebook and Twitter.