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Esmark 18U forward Fairman signs NAHL tender

February 24, 2022

The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are pleased to announce that 18U forward Hunter Fairman has signed a North American Hockey League (NAHL) tender agreement with the NAHL's Springfield Jr Blues.

Fairman, who was drafted by the NAHL's Johnstown Tomahawks in the 16th round of the annual NAHL entry-level draft last season, has skated for Esmark AAA Hockey for three seasons, two seasons with the Stars U18 AAA Midget Major squad, '21-'22 and '20-'21, and the '19-'20 season with Star's 16U AAA Midget Minor team.

The (6'2", 165 lbs.) graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, registered 36 points (14 goals, 12 assists), including two shorthanded goals, six power play goals and one game-winning-goal, in 27 regular season NAPHL games played this season. In three Dixon Cup NAPHL Playoff game appearances to date, Fairman has registered 4 points (2 goals and 2 assists).

Overall, Fairman has tallied 63 points (37 goals, 26 assists), in 51 games played so far this season, which leads the Stars in scoring.  His numbers include 7 power play goals and 5 shorthanded goals.

During the 2020-21 season, Fairman registered 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists), including 2 power play goals and 1 game-winning-goal, in 20 regular season NAPHL games and 3 points (1 goals, 2 assists), in five NAPHL Dixon Cup Playoff games for Esmark's U18 Stars.

Overall last season, Fairman notched 41 points (15 goals and 26 assists), including 3 power play goals, in 70 overall games played to help lead Esmark's U18 squad to the USA Hockey's Tier I National Championship Tournament.

During his U16 season, 2019-20, Fairman recorded 15 points (4 goals and 11 assists) in 16 NAPHL games and 1 point, a game-winning goal, in four Dixon Cup U16 NAPHL playoff games

"Hunter has such a high level work ethic," said Esmark 18U head coach Dave Kosick. "And you mix that with an elite level skill set and a blue collar toughness and you get an outstanding player who has crafted a tremendous amount of interest from numerous NAHL Junior teams."

"He should be a great pick-up for the Jr Blues and head coach Tyler Rennette," Kosick added. "He can fill multiple roles and will work harder than most to accomplish his goals."

Fairman becomes the second member of the 2021-2022 Esmark 18U AAA team to sign a tender with an NAHL club, joining teammate Shane Kozlina who previously tendered with the North Iowa Bulls. Last season, the Stars had nine players sign Junior A Tender offers.

The Jr Blues, who are based out of Springfield, IL, play in the eight-team NAHL Midwest Division.

Click here to see a list of NAPHL tenders for the 2021-22 season

A tender is a contract, of sorts, a player signs announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Each team is granted ten (10) tenders, which include two (2) tenders exclusively used on players from the NAPHL - plus or minus any trades - which became active on November 1st. Tendered players are not eligible for the 2022 NAHL Draft.

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