MARQUETTE, Mich. – Walt Kyle, the head hockey coach at Northern Michigan University, announces four players who have signed a National Letter of Intent to join the NMU hockey program. Joining the program will be three forwards and a defenseman. The forwards are Andrew Cherniwchan, Justin Florek and Tyler Gron. Cory Pritz is the lone defenseman. “I can tell you, I am extremely pleased,” said Kyle. “It takes a lot of work to get these guys. In my opinion these are some real top end players.”
Cherniwchan (5-11, 165) currently plays for the Drayton Valley Thunder of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). The Hinton, Alberta native is in his third season with the Thunder. For the 2007-08 season after 26 games he has 18 goals, 17 assists for 35 points. Cherniwchan is currently ranked 12th in the AJHL in scoring. He has skated in 129 games for the Thunder and has put up the numbers 60 goals, 45 assists for 105 points. Cherniwchan was a member of Team Canada West which recently played in the World Junior A Challenge in Trail, B.C. “He works very hard and has a good skill basis,” said Kyle.
Florek (6-4, 194), a Marquette native, is skating for the United States National Team Development Program Under-18 Team (USNTDP). After 18 games with the USNTDP U-18 Team this season, Florek has three goals, two assists for five points. For the 2006-07 season he played for the USNTDP U-17 Team where he led the team in scoring with 31 points (11-20) in 66 games. Florek played for the Marquette Electricians during the 2005-06 season as he had 59 points (26-33) in 55 games. He was ranked in the NHL’s Central Scouting early list with an A ranking. The ranking identifies a player as a must see who is predicted to be a potential first or second round draft selection in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. “Justin is a guy that has enormous potential. He is a guy who cares about Northern hockey and being part of this program,” said Kyle. “I expect huge things from him.”
Gron (6-0, 200) from Spruce Grove, Alberta is playing for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the AJHL. He is currently ranked sixth in the AJHL in scoring with 19 goals, 23 assists for 42 points after 31 games. “He is a strong player with a great work ethic,” said Kyle.
According to Kyle, Cherniwchan and Gron grew up together playing midget hockey in the Edmonton area. They are very close friends. “We are extremely pleased to have both of them as part of our program,” said Kyle.
Pritz (5-10, 180) the lone blue liner of the group is playing for the Westside Warriors of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). The Red Deer, Alberta product has 22 points on 11 goals, 11 assists after 27 games. “Very good offensive skills and a big shot,” said Kyle.
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Sports Information Director