The St. Louis Jr. Blues, proud members of the NA3HL, are extremely pleased to announce that team captain Joe Papa has committed to play NCAA hockey at St. John’s University. The Johnnies are located in Collegeville, Minn., and play Division III hockey in the MIAC.
A three-year veteran of the Jr. Blues, the St. Charles, Ill. native was a consistent and major component of the Jr. Blues’ success in the previous three seasons. In 119 career regular-season games, Papa scored 33 goals and 47 assists, with a lifetime plus-minus of +42. His best career season came in 2018-19: despite being cut short due to injury, he posted 29 points (15 G, 14 A) and a rating of +24. He also played in all 22 of the Jr. Blues’ playoff games in the past three years, finishing with four goals and eight assists in the post-season. Capping it all off, in 2017-18 he was named club alternate captain, and was promoted to the full captaincy for 2018-19.
“Joe’s’ work ethic and team first mentality made him a pleasure to coach,” said Jr. Blues head coach Chris Flaugher. “He’s a two way forward that can play in all roles and his versatility will make him an asset to St. John’s.” [Johnnies coach] Doug Schueller is going to get an excellent young man on his team.”
Flaugher adds that “Pops came to our club after playing Tier II midget hockey in the Central States Development Hockey League, and now he has become a NCAA Division III student-athlete. Our staff couldn’t be prouder of him for achieving this goal he set out for himself.”
Papa becomes the third Jr. Blues player this off-season to make a college commitment, joining Matt Monreal (Southern New Hampshire) and Hunter Muzzillo (UNLV).