He was one of the most dominant players in tier III hockey, and now Jake Fuss gets an opportunity to take his talents to the NCAA Division III level, with the forward committing to the University of New England.
“The campus is beautiful and the coaching staff were welcoming and approachable during this process,” said Fuss on making his decision. “I really see myself enjoying the next four years there.”
Fuss, 20, spent his final junior season with the NAHL Knights. That was earned by an outstanding performance in the tier III level of junior hockey. Fuss first came to the Knights when the organization had an NA3AHL team during the 2016-17 season. In just 33 games, he went on a pace that can only be found otherwise on a video game, piling up 65 goals and 64 assists for a tier III record-129 points. He followed with 67 points in 41 games the next season before earning his shot on the NAHL roster.
” We as a staff felt Jake deserved his shot in the North American Hockey League,” said General Manager and Head Coach Tom Kowal. ” He played some games with us before this year, but his stats tell the story. He’s a highly skilled player who can be an asset to any team he plays for. We were fortunate he spent three years with us, and now it’s time for Jake to be an asset for the University of New England over the next four years.”
Nobody can dispute that Fuss made contributions in the second half of the 2018-19 season that helped the Knights improve as an entire team and subsequently keep their playoff hopes alive right until the very end. The Fairfield, CT native notched 18 goals in the second half alone and became the sixth player in NAHL Knights’ history to record a 20 goal season. He finished the campaign with 28 points in his last 29 games.
Number 11 now heads to the University of New England, joining the Nor’easters this fall. Though his story with the Knights has come to an end, Fuss will not forget his time in gray and blue, and thanks the ones who helped him throughout.
“I have to give a big thank you to the Edwards and Mahaffey families,” said Fuss. “They really welcomed me to their homes and treated me like one of their kids. The coaching staff really helped me develop over the past three years to become a better hockey player and person off the ice. Every practice and film session we did really helped prepare me for the weekend and ultimately make me a better player as the season went on. I would also like to say thank you to Josh Fusco. He really believed in me and helped me get to where I am today. Paul Celona (athletic trainer) was absolutely the best. He took care of me for the three years and I can’t thank the guy enough.”
“Being a Knight was special. I made a lot of life long friends, and I wish the organization nothing but the best .”