Tag Archives: NCAA D1

Jack Olmstead Commits to Michigan University

On Wednesday, Knights forward Jack Olmstead committed to the University of Michigan. The ’98 birth year is Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s leading scorer through 25 games, helping the team to a 16-6-3 start.

Olmstead’s future home is rich with hockey history. The Michigan Wolverines lead NCAA Division I with nine national championships over their 91-year existence, but you don’t have to tell Jack.

“It means everything,” he said. “I️ grew up a die hard fan, going to Michigan hockey games; from going down to the GLI every year, to rooting for the football team. I’ve always loved the atmosphere. Everything about the program is top notch. The coaches, the players, the trainers, the strength coach, just everything. The moment I️ stepped on campus I️ knew it was a special place. It’s really hard to put into words the feeling. It’s just a dream come true.”

Michigan hockey alumni include Stanley Cup Champions, Hobey Baker winners, and dozens of NHL players. Olmstead is excited to get to work.

“I️ feel I️’ll bring skill and heart to the team,” he said. “The guys in the program are world class hockey players. I️ want to be a great player obviously, but being a great teammate is also important to me.”

The forward has taken the NAHL by storm in 2017-18. Olmstead’s 13 goals and 12 assists in 23 games leads his team in points and is second-most among all NAHL rookies. His +13 is the fifth-highest total in the league, while his 1.09 points per game ranks eighth among players who have played in at least 10 games.

“We were excited when Jack signed a tender agreement with us last year,” said Knights head coach Tom Kowal. “The game film and the score sheet will tell you he’s a really skilled forward. But what I think says the most about Jack is how many guys on our team want to share ice time with him.”

Olmstead has been deployed across all lines and scenarios this season, including splitting time at center and wing, playing on the power play and penalty kill, and in overtime and the shootout, wowing with jawdropping goals along the way.

“He’s hard to keep out of the rink,” said Kowal. “He’s here a lot-taking extra ice time, practicing his shot, helping teammates, doing the right things to help himself and his team improve. Michigan isn’t just getting a really good hockey player-they’re getting a really good person.”

“Playing in the NAHL has helped me a ton,” said Olmstead. “Just competing against bigger, faster, stronger guys has helped me grow a lot as a player. Everyone in this league can play and think the game at a very high level. My teammates and coaches have also pushed me every day in practice to be the best I️ can be.”

While he continues to develop and improve his own game, the Knights are aiming for a Robertson Cup this season. Olmstead is concentrated on helping his team achieve that goal.

“Obviously we only have one goal, and that’s to win it all,” he said. “We feel like we have the right coaching and the right team to make a run and win a Robertson Cup. Individual success comes directly from team success. We know what kind of team we have and what we are capable of achieving.”

Through it all, the Olmstead has stayed grounded and appreciative of those who have helped him reach this point.

“I️ want to thank everyone that’s helped me out,” he said. “My teammates and coaches have been monumental to me thus far. Coach Kowal gave me a chance to come in and play this year for the Knights and he’s been a great mentor and coach for me.”

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights congratulate Jack on his well-deserved commitment and appreciate his continued devotion to the organization’s success. They are eager to follow his career in the blue and gold and wish him all the best!

Tyrone Bronte Commits to Bemidji State University

On Monday evening Knights forward Tyrone Bronte announced his decision to commit to Bemidji State University, an NCAA division one hockey program out of the WCHA conference. Bronte, a ’99 forward, has been a key part of the Knights success this season tallying five goals and seven assists in 13 games.

“We’re very proud that Tyrone had made his commitment to play for Bemidji State,” said Knights head coach Tom Kowal. “He has worked very hard to turn into a gifted forward with and without the puck and maximizes his talent with his effort on and off the ice. He’s a smart and skilled player who consistently elevates the play of his teammates. Our numbers and our record this year are a lot better with him than without him.”

In the 13 games that Bronte has played for the Knights, the team is 11-1-1. They’re 1-2-2 without him.

“Tyrone’s heading to a good program with a history of winning hockey. He’s going to help continue that trend. Bemidji is getting a good one.”

The Bemidji State Beavers are coming off a season in which they won the MacNaughton Cup, awarded to the team that finishes with the best record in the WCHA conference at the end of the regular season.  The program has made several long runs in the NCAA tournament since jumping up to Division I level in the 1999-2000 season. Notable program alumni include current Philadelphia Flyers forward Matt Read along with former NHL players like Calgary Flames standout and US Olympian Joel Otto, forward Andrew Murray,  and defenseman Gary Sargent.

“Bemidji’s hockey program is exquisite,” said Bronte of his future home. “They have really great facilities. Their rink is gorgeous, the locker room is as well. From the beginning, their coaching staff was up front and honest with me about their interest. They made it a point that they really wanted me. They came to me after only the first few games to let me know. Their interest in me sparked my interest in them.”

A native of Australia, Bronte has transitioned well since coming to the US. His play at the midget and junior level has consistently turned heads, enough to earn him the right to play at the highest level of college hockey.

“It’s a dream for me. I came to America to play division one hockey,” he said. “My goal is to one day play in the NHL. Playing DI is a step in that direction. It helps me and helps my family.”

As for the rest of the current season, Bronte is focused on continuing the Knights recent success and continuing to develop his own game.

“Right now we’re doing well. We’re playing well as a team and as individuals. My motto has always been to put the team first, because I believe that team success brings about individual success.”

Through all his success, Bronte hasn’t lost sight of those who’ve helped him along his way.

“I’d like to thank my parents and my brother for their support through this,” he said. “I’d like to thank God for granting me my talents and blessing me on this journey.”