Seven Jets Represent Janesville at 2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament

By Mason Lyttle (@MasonLyttle) | January 30, 2020 | 4:15pm

JANESVILLE, WI — Seven Janesville Jets players were today named to rosters for the 2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, held February 17-18, 2020 at the New England Sports Village in Attleboro, Massachusetts.

The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament is one of the most highly-scouted events in junior hockey. Last season’s event drew more than 220 scouts representing nearly every NHL team and every NCAA Division I school. The event provides schools with a look at the best uncommitted players from around the league, and provides NHL clubs a look at the top draft-eligible talent on the NAHL Selects rosters.

Each NAHL division is represented by a 20-man team, selected from the divisions’ teams. From a recent roster freeze, division standings dictated the roster allotments. The Jets, holding 4th place in the Midwest Division, will send three players to the Midwest Division Team.

NHL Central Scouting selected two teams, NAHL Selects Red and NAHL Selects White, comprised of draft-eligible players, regardless of their commitment status.

The head coach of Team Midwest is Trevor Stewart of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. Carter Foguth of the Chippewa Steel is the assistant coach.

The head coach of Selects Red is Simon Watson of the Topeka Pilots. Kevin Murdock of the Kenai River Brown Bears is the assistant coach.

The head coach of Selects Blue is Jason Campbell of the Shreveport Mudbugs. Steve Howard of the Austin Bruins is the assistant coach.

All games will be broadcast live in HD on HockeyTV. Calling the games are TJ Chillot from the Austin Bruins and Mark Shelley from the Amarillo Bulls. Special NAHL correspondent and reporter Kirsten Krull will assist with broadcasting, interviews, rink-side analysis, and special features.


Nick Gonrowski (Team Midwest)

(Shelley Schmidt Photography)

Defense
New Hope, MN
6-1| 185
February 1, 1999
2019-20 Season
35 GP | 2G – 4A – 6 PTS
NAHL Career
76 GP | 3G – 15A – 18 PTS

Since joining the Jets midway through last season, Gonrowski has brought top-level skating and leadership to the defense group. The blueliner affectionately known as “Gronk” to teammates arrived in Janesville with previous NAHL experience as a member of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and the Minnesota Wilderness.  Gonrowski’s speed and mobility give his team’s attack extra potency when he’s on the ice, and give him great recovery when needed. At the last league event, the 2019 NAHL Showcase, Gonrowski picked up a pair of goals in a 5-0 win over the Northeast Generals.


Grant Hindman (NAHL Selects)

(Shelley Schmidt Photography)

Defense
Oakland, MI
5-11 | 185
May 16, 2002
Committed: Lake Superior State
2019-20 Season (Rookie)
28 GP | 2G – 9A – 11 PTS

The 17-year-old Hindman leads a young Jets team as an alternate captain, and earned his Division I commitment to Lake Superior State early in the season. In a changing age of hockey that continues to place priority in skill over toughness, Hindman brings a classic blend of both to the Jets every night. He can stand up puck carriers at the blue line and is never afraid to battle in corners. Coaches trust Hindman in all situations. He and fellow ’02 rearguard Casey Roepke are the only Jets’ defensemen with both shorthanded points and power play points.


Nick Michel (Team Midwest)

(Shelley Schmidt Photography)

Forward
Waconia, MN
5-10 | 180
March 16, 1999
2019-20 Season
19 GP | 3G – 5A – 8 PTS
NAHL Career
71 GP | 9G – 22A – 31 PTS

Michel tendered with the Jets in April after a long and testing season of rehab and recovery. A solid contributor to the Minnesota Wilderness’ attack in his rookie campaign of 2017-18, Michel tore his ACL towards the end of the season. Multiple surgeries and more than a year later, Michel returned to the ice in November 2019, and has found stability in Janesville. Division I scouts will be hard pressed to find a league comparable to Michel’s determination and mental toughness.


Isaac Novak (NAHL Selects)

(Shelley Schmidt Photography)

Forward
Waukesha, WI
6-0 | 185
January 8, 2002
Committed: Wisconsin
2019-20 Season (Rookie)
33 GP | 16G – 12A – 28 PTS

The rookie forward shares a name with the Jets’ single-season scoring leader, Ottawa Senators draft pick Jakov Novak. There’s no relation between the two, but both bring a game-breaking offensive element to their team’s lineup every night. Isaac scored three times in the Jets’ recent sweep of the Wilderness, and his 16 goals lead the team. He trails only Nick Nardella in total points (by seven) and by shots on goal (by three). He excels in transition, can make plays in tight spaces, and has a nose for the net.


Grant Riley (NAHL Selects)

(Shelley Schmidt Photography)

Goaltender
Rochester, NY
6-4 | 195
August 28, 2002
Committed: Boston College
2019-20 Season (Rookie)
28 GP | (11-16-1-0) | 3.29 GAA | .904 SV% | 1 SO

Boston College commit Grant Riley represents the Jets’ best chance to win every night he takes the crease. NHL scouts continue to travel near and far to watch him play — just two weeks ago, he placed 11th among North American goalies on the league’s Central Scouting Department’s 2020 draft prospect rankings. With his size and competitive fire, Riley has the “unteachable” attributes prospects look for. A true professional and student of the game, Riley’s approach to daily improvement has shown off on recent stat sheets. In his four appearances since the holiday break, he has recorded a .928 save percentage with an average of 38 shots against per game.


Casey Roepke (NAHL Selects)

(Shelley Schmidt Photography)

Defense
Erin, WI
6-0 | 180
May 2, 2002
Committed: Wisconsin
2019-20 Season (Rookie)
33 GP | 2G – 6A – 8 PTS

Roepke’s natural skating ability and high offensive upside earned him the opportunity to verbally commit to the Badgers at just 15 years old. The Milwaukee area native moves effortlessly with or without the puck, and has a great ability to get shots past high forwards and through to the net. Recognized early on Central Scouting’s Preliminary Players to Watch List, Roepke has no shortage of talent to display in Attleboro.


Anthony Szurlej (Team Midwest)

(Shelley Schmidt Photography)

Defense
McKees Rocks, PA
6-3 | 205
September 22, 1999
2019-20 Season
35 GP | 3G – 3A – 6 PTS
NAHL Career
96 GP | 4G – 14A – 18 PTS

Szurlej is a true junior hockey veteran whose experience and toughness are invaluable to this year’s young Jets team. He was 15 years old when he played his first game as a member of the NA3HL’s Pittsburgh Vengeance, and since 2015 has racked up nearly 200 games of experience between the NA3HL, the NCDC, and the NAHL. Acquired in October from the St. Cloud Blizzard, Szurlej made his mark with a goal in just his second game as a Jet, a 4-2 win over the Ice Dogs in Fairbanks. The physicality and size Szurlej brings the Jets are often what tip the scales for players like him when Division I schools consider a league’s age-out talent.


NAHL TOP PROSPECTS TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

Monday, February 17, 2020
Team South vs Selects Red 12:00pm ET
Team Midwest vs Team East 2:30pm ET
Team Central vs Selects Blue 5:00pm ET

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Selects Red vs Team Midwest 10:00am ET
Team East vs Selects Blue 12:30pm  ET
Team South vs Team Central 3:00pm ET


100+ NCAA commitments since 2009.