The St. Louis Jr. Blues, proud members of the NA3HL, wish to congratulate two of our 2016-17 players on making NAHL training camp rosters after the conclusion of main camps. Forward Jack Hatton will be joining the Shreveport Mudbugs, while goalie Sawyer Schmidt is playing for the Bismarck Bobcats.
Hatton, a forward originally from Naperville, Ill., led the Jr. Blues in goals last season with 50, adding 26 assists as well. He was also tapped to play for the Green team at the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament in Plymouth, Mich., where he played three games with one assist.
Acquired mid-season from the Rochester Ice Hawks, Schmidt, a 6’1” native of Mandan, N.D. made the most of his time with the Jr. Blues, posting a 5-1-0 record with a 2.32 GAA and .918 save percentage in the regular season. However, it was in the Jr. Blues’ run to the Silver Cup Finals where he really shone, starting all seven games the club played and finishing with a 4-3-0 playoff record, including a 2.64 goals-against, .920 save percentage, and one shutout.
They join three other Jr. Blues players headed to NAHL training camps: defenseman Regnars Udris was invited to Shreveport’s camp, while forward Ivan Galaguzov and defenseman Trevor Wilhelm signed tenders with Springfield and Corpus Christi, respectively.
“To make a NAHL roster is one of the toughest things a young player can do,” said Jr. Blues head coach Chris Flaugher. “The competition at these main camps is incredibly fierce, with everyone playing at their highest level to gain a spot. However, we here at the Jr. Blues feel that we are the best place to prepare hockey players for the next level, and Jack and Sawyer’s success is the best evidence of our club’s methods. We wish nothing but the best for them going forward.”
Both Bismarck and Shreveport share a connection with the Jr. Blues through former forward Frankie Melton. Melton joined the Bobcats in the middle of the 2015-16 season, playing an integral part in their Central Division title and run to the Robertson Cup playoffs. He would move to the Mudbugs for their inaugural NAHL campaign in 2016-17, where he claimed the league’s goal-scoring title and parlayed this into a NCAA commitment at Ferris State (WCHA).