Esmark 18U defenseman Norkevicus signs NAHL tender
The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are pleased to announce that 18U defenseman Ian Norkevicus has signed a NAHL (North American Hockey League) tender agreement with the NAHL's Alaska-based Fairbanks Ice Dogs.
The 2022-23 season is Norkevicus' first season with Esmark's AAA Hockey program and first year with the Star's U18 squad.
The (5'11", 170 lbs.) 18 year-old from Pittsburgh, PA, is currently the leading scorer (defenseman) in NAPHL play and has registered 12 points (1 goal, 11 assists), in 8 North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) appearances so far this season, including three power play assists, for Esmark's U18 AAA Midget Major squad.
Overall this season to date, Norkevicus has tallied 32 points (5 goals, 27 assists), including one power play goal, in 31 games played for Esmark.
"Ian has been a great addition to our club and defensive corps" said Esmark 18U head coach Dave Kosick. "His instincts, with and without the puck, and overall play to date have helped propel him to this tender opportunity. There has been considerable interest in signing him and Fairbanks landed a quality d-man with a bright future."
Norkevicus becomes the third member of the 2022-2023 Esmark 18U AAA team to sign a tender with a NAHL Junior A club, joining teammates Derek Pietrzyk, forward, who tendered with the Corpus Christi IceRays, and Wesley Schwartzmiller, forward, who tendered with the Minnesota Wilderness.
The Pittsburgh-based Esmark Stars AAA Hockey program is the oldest Tier I program in the Mid-American District and one of the oldest under the USA Hockey umbrella. Founded in 1984, the Stars program has been providing elite level training and instruction to amateur hockey players for the past 38th seasons.
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 2023 NAHL Draft.