The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that assistant captain and defenseman Spencer Kring has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey for the Bethel University Royals of the MIAC.
“It’s very satisfying finally being able to say I’m committed,” said Wisconsin native Spencer Kring. “It’s been a long and tiresome process, but with the help from my teammates, coaches, and family, I can finally say I’ve reached my dream of being committed to an NCAA school.”
Kring began play in the town he grew up in with the Green Bay Jr. Gamblers 13U team in 2014. Like many young Wisconsin hockey players, Kring then transitioned to play with Team Wisconsin the following season, as well as his high school squad at Bay Port High for the next two years. In 48 games in high school, Kring recorded 37 points.
In 2019, “Kringer” stepped to the dish in the big leagues for the first time and broke ground in the NAHL. His career in the NA started with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, which saw the young defenseman play in an impressive 50 games and notch 16 points with a +12 +/- rating. The following season, the 2020-21 year, Kring was moved back to his state to play with the Jets. The 2020 year was, of course, a strange year in the NAHL and in the sports world as a whole. Despite the adversity he and the rest of the league faced, Kring saw 38 games and added 12 points, plus a +15 rating in his second year in the league.
Now in his final year of junior hockey, Kring has embraced the “Iron Man” title by playing in all 58 games of the season and matching his season-high in points with 16. The Hobart, WI native has scored six goals and recorded 10 assists in his second year as a Jet and has been a big contributor to a solid defensemen group in Janesville.
Kring becomes just the third Jet to commit to Bethel University (G Sam Metcalf, 2018-19; D Tyler Sorenson, 2009-10). A private, Christian university located in St. Paul, Minnesota, the campus location isn’t far from Kring’s hometown, and the hockey program was another plus in making the decision to attend. “A lot went into choosing Bethel, but it was a good mixture of everything,” said Kring. “I’m a big “go with your gut” believer, and when I was touring the campus with my parents, it was clear that it was the right fit for me.”
The Royals hockey program began in 1978 and has been a part of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference since they entered the hockey scene. In their 44-year history, the Royals have won the MIAC regular season and conference title once (2006-07), and have made the NCAA tournament twice (1982, 2007). Their 2007 team is considered the best men’s hockey team in program history and saw them win the opening round of the NCAA tourney against UW-River Falls but fall in the quarterfinals to St. Norbert.
Kring finished the 2021-22 year with a maintained go-to title by playing in all 60 games of the season, finishing with 16 points. In his two years in Janesville, Kring played 102 regular season and playoff games as a Jet, and 155 total games in the NAHL. While it was a buzzkill to see the season end without a playoff run, Kring will always have a soft spot for the Jets and getting the chance to play junior hockey in his home state.
“I owe a lot to the Jets not only from a hockey development standpoint, but also as a person off the ice,” said Kring. “I’ve truly met some lifelong friends the past two years I’ve been here, not only in teammates but in coaches, operational staff and in fans. It’s a tight-knit community and it’s a very special place to call home as a junior hockey player. I’ll forever and always be a Jet thanks to the experiences and opportunities I’ve had here.”
Kring will make the short trip from his hometown to St. Paul to start up his collegiate career later this year.
2021-22 College Commitments
Keaton Peters (F) – Western Michigan University, DI
AJ Casperson (D) – Long Island University, DI
Cal Mell (D) – Union College, DI
Spencer Kring (D) – Bethel University, DIII
Will Troutwine (D) – College of the Holy Cross, DI
Cade Destefani (F) – Lindenwood University, DI