LSSU hockey team signs four players including Sault Ste. Marie winger Kyle Jean
|Four players, including Sault Ste. Marie native Kyle Jean, have signed a National Letter of Intent to play hockey at Lake Superior State.|
LSSU has also signed defenseman Zachary Trotman of Novi, Mich., and forwards Benjamin Power of Montreal, Quebec, and Kelin Ainsworth of Thunder Bay, Ont.
Jean is a former Soo Indians AAA midget hockey player who is in his second season with the Traverse City North Stars coached by former Lakers Anthony Palumbo and Mike Matteucci. The 6-3, 205-pound left wing was traded from the Marquette Rangers to the North Stars midway through last season and has already surpassed last season’s point total. Jean has six goals and seven assists through 21 games in 2008-09. His totals include one short-handed goal and two game-winning goals as the North Stars are off to a 14-4-3 start in the North American Hockey League.
“He is a big, strong kid with skills, and is on the NHL Central Scouting B List for potential draft picks next June,” LSSU hockey coach Jim Roque said. “He is getting his game together, as far as playing college hockey, with the help of Anthony and Mike.”
After playing midget hockey in the Detroit area, Trotman is in his first junior A season with the Wichita Falls Wildcats. The 6-2, 200-pound right defenseman has one assist through 17 games with the Wildcats, who are 8-9-3 in the NAHL.
“Zach is a big and physical, and more of a stay-at-home type defenseman,” Roque said. “He will help give us a little more grit and toughness on the back end, which we’ve sometimes lacked. And I think he can score at this level. He skates really well.”
Power, a 6-0, 175-pound center, played for St. Andrews Prep School in Toronto last season and is currently a first-year junior A player for the Kingston Voyageurs of the Ontario Provincial Hockey League. He leads Kingston in points with 15-18—33 through 30 games. He has eight power-play goals and three game-winning goals. The Voyageurs lead the OPHL Ruddock Division with 20 wins.
“He is a clever player and a good replacement for Troy Schwab as far as skill level,” Roque said. “He is having a great first year in junior hockey.”
Roque learned of Ainsworth, a 5-11, 175-pound left wing with a 1991 birthday, from former Laker Jamie McDonald (LSSU ’80), who is the director of hockey operations at Rothesay Netherwood Prep School in Rothesay, New Brunswick. After playing three seasons at RNS, Ainsworth returned to Ontario to play for the Fort William North Stars of the Superior International Junior Hockey League. He has six goals and four assists through 18 games for the 15-1-3 North Stars.
“He is also very skilled and is coached by the same coach that (former Laker) Ryan Baird played for,” Roque said. “He will probably defer enrollment and play junior hockey for another year.”
LSSU’s new recruiting class also includes Kellan Lain of Oakville, Ont., who signed his NLI last spring. Lain, a 6-4, 195-pound forward, has 13-13—26 with three game-winning goals for Oakville, which is currently 23-5 in the OPHL. He helped lead the Blades to the OPHL title and the Royal Bank Cup in 2007-08.