Esmark 18U forward Mettrick signs NAHL tender
The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are pleased to announce that 18U forward Justin Mettrick has signed a North American Hockey League (NAHL) tender agreement with the NAHL's Minnesota Wilderness.
Mettrick has skated for Esmark AAA Hockey for the past three seasons, the past two seasons, '21-'22 and '20-'21, with the Stars U18 AAA Midget Major squad and the '19-'20 season with Star's 16U AAA Midget Minor team.
The (6'2", 180 lbs.) graduate of South Park High School, registered 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists), including one power play goal and one game-winning-goal, in 27 regular season NAPHL games played this season. In four Dixon Cup NAPHL Playoff game appearances, Mettrick registered 3 points (2 goals and 1 assist).
Overall this season, Mettrick tallied 50 points (19 goals, 31 assists), in 57 games played for the Stars in their regular season. His numbers includes 4 power play goals and he accumulated a +/- rating of +34.
During the 2020-21 season, Mettrick registered 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists), including 1 power play goal, in 20 regular season NAPHL games and five NAPHL Dixon Cup Playoff games for Esmark's U18 squad.
Overall last season, Mettrick notched 32 points (14 goals and 18 assists), including 2 power play goals, in 71 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, Mettrick recorded 19 points (5 goals and 14 assists) including 2 game-winning goals, in 17 NAPHL games, and four Dixon Cup U16 NAPHL playoff games
"Justin brings all the tools necessary to be a successful power forward in the NAHL," said Esmark 18U head coach Dave Kosick. "Combine his toughness and grit with his size, skill and tenacious attitude and you have all the right ingredients for a successful transition to Junior hockey."
"Justin has a great chance to add value to the Wilderness line-up for head coach Dave Boitz," Kosick added. "He can certainly step-in and fill many roles and he has such a strong desire to succeed."
Mettrick becomes the third member of the 2021-2022 Esmark 18U AAA team to sign a tender with an NAHL club, joining teammates Shane Kozlina, North Iowa Bulls, and Hunter Fairman, Springfield Jr Blues.
The Wilderness, who are based out of Cloquet, MN, play in the eight-team NAHL Midwest Division.
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.