By Emily Polglaze (@enpolglaze) | July 19, 2018
JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that forward Simon Sagissor has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Blugolds of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Sagissor’s commitment is the sixth for Janesville from the 2017-18 season and also the sixth under first-year head coach Gary Shuchuk.
“It feels great,” Sagissor said. “I’m achieving a life-long goal and it’s an accomplishment, but the journey has just begun.”
The forward played his first full NAHL season in the 2017-18 campaign with Janesville. Sagissor skated in 54 games with the Jets and registered eight goals and 13 assists.
Simon served as a staple on the Jets penalty kill, which had 78.5% success in the regular season. One of Janesville’s four short-handed goals was scored by Sagissor, and he assisted on another.
Sagissor was a huge asset in the Jets’ playoff push. He scored the game-tying goal in Janesville’s first quarterfinal victory against Fairbanks that drove an early series lead, and his overtime tally in the third game pushed the Jets back on the winning side of the match-up.
Shuchuk emphasized the importance of Sagissor’s impact in his short, but sweet, time with Janesville.
“Once he found his role on the team, I thought he was by far one of my best penalty killers in terms of forwards. Simon loved that role,” Shuchuk said. “He’s just one of those guys that other guys feed off of. They see him block a shot or he makes a big play defensively, the guys mold from him. They jump on his back when we’re playing a good team.”
Though he only spent one year in Janesville, Sagissor provided a veteran junior presence as he previously skated with the Madison Capitols of the United States Hockey League, the Coulee Region Chill of the NAHL, and the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League.
Sagissor joins a Blugold program that has been on the rise in recent years. Since their joining of the WIAC in the 2013-14 slate, Eau Claire finished outside the top two spots in conference only once.
The Blugolds have won two conference tournaments, the most recent this past season, and took the regular season crown in the 2015-16 season.
Eau Claire has made six NCAA postseason appearances since joining the league in 1989. The Blugolds’ last opportunity was in 2013, when they went on to win their first NCAA national title and second in program history.
Head coach Matt Loen is a former UWEC All-American player and graduate. He has been at the helm since 2007 and has since accrued a 171-110-25 record as the Blugolds’ longest and winningest coach. Loen has been a consistent leader for Eau Claire and has won the WIAC Coach of the Year award in six of his 11 seasons.
“If [Coach Loen] needs a first line player, he gets it, if he needs a fourth line player, he’ll get it,” Shuchuk said. “Simon played all three forward positions with no hesitation. It didn’t matter if I needed him to play right wing or center. He’s a very versatile forward that you need in college.”
UWEC has become a special place for the Sagissors, as Simon’s older brother, Sam, also attended the school.
“They have a great program and a history of winning, along with an excellent coaching staff,” Sagissor said. “I knew a little bit about the school, and then on my visit, it was one of those things you just knew felt right.”
The NAHL set a new record for college commitments in a single season this year, and Sagissor’s adds on to the historic mark. As the sixth commitment for Janesville this year, Sagissor said it’s a testament to the philosophies present in Janesville: continuing player careers and creating bonds.
“I’ve learned a lot being a Jet … But I’ll keep it simple … The staff and organization is 100% working for you, which means that they are doing whatever they can to help you succeed. There is a reason that the Jets commit so many kids each year,” Sagissor said. “Secondly, the recruiting process is also well done. The coaches seem to find the best chemistry in the locker room, which leads to a closer bond between us.”