FRASER, Mich. – Dylan Tegtmeyer moved away from his Fort Wayne, Ind., home last year to fine-tune his game with the Metro Jets with hopes in getting a college hockey opportunity.
He did – and now he’s heading back home to play for Indiana Tech University.
“Coach (Frank) DiCristofaro spoke with me at the showcase in Chicago,” said Tegtmeyer, a 1999 birth year forward who will join fellow Jets graduate Brady Hanson with the Warriors. “We had previously spoken before during my senior year of high school. I’m looking forward to joining the Indiana Tech hockey program and feel very fortunate to be going to such a high-quality program, which happens to be in Fort Wayne.
“It’s nice to go full circle and return to play in my hometown in front of my friends and family. I’d like to thank Coach Q (Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville) for guiding me through the college process and pointing me to the organization that fits me best. I’m unsure what role I will play at Tech, but whatever it is, I will embrace it and be the best I can at it.”
In the classroom, Tegtmeyer said he’s undecided on a major.
Last season with the MJDP, Tegtmeyer posted two goals and three points in 23 games. He missed significant time with a broken hand suffered in the season opener in Chicago that required surgery.
“It is certainly not the way I had envisioned my starting season with the Jets organization, and I was extremely disappointed,” Tegtmeyer. “However, you have to make the best of whatever situation you find yourself in, and so I continued with any training I was able to do throughout my recovery. I’m pleased with where I was able to end my season with the Jets, and grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow as a player with the team.”
“The Jets rounded out my game by helping me to refine and build upon areas with which I had struggled in the past. This includes systems and learning to use my frame in a more efficient way. They also gave me the tools on and off the ice to become a well-rounded, complete player.”
Quenneville was enamored with the way Tegtmeyer dealt with adversity throughout the season.
“It’s bittersweet to see Dylan commit to Indiana Tech after everything he has been through,” said Quenneville. “He had a not-so-pleasant experience with his first junior team out east two years ago, then opted to come play for us here and invest in himself. Unfortunately for him, he got hurt early, but at no point did he complain or lay down. He came to work every day and did everything he could to be more than ready when it was time. He is coachable, works hard every day, wants to better himself in every sense, and ultimately a big reason why he finished successfully here.
“He was approached by several schools and he took his time to navigate through the options. He picked a good one with ITU, and we wish him nothing but the best of luck.”
After his up-and-down season, Tegtmeyer was certainly not short on people to thank.
“I would like to thank the Jets coaching staff – Coach Q, (associate head coach) Jamie Lovell and (assistant coaches) Dan Pszenyczny and Randy Wilson – for helping me achieve my goal of playing college hockey,” said Tegtmeyer. “I’d like to thank my teammates for always pushing me to be better, and my family for their support and the sacrifices they’ve made for me to pursue my dream.
“I also want to say ‘thank you’ to my billet family Rob and Meagan Smoyer for opening up their home to me.”
Since the beginning of June, Tegtmeyer has been skating as much as possible at his home rink and continuing his off-ice training and conditioning workouts. He said he will also enjoy the rest of summer with family and friends and working at the rink as a hockey instructor.
DETROIT – Brendan Genzman experienced a taste of the USPHL with the Motor City Hockey Club in 2019-20 and wants to improve his overall game in 2020-21 after recently signing with Motor City for the upcoming season.
Genzman, a 2001-born forward out of St. Clair Shores, Mich., posted two goals in 16 games with 44 penalty minutes last season.
“My thought process was finding the right fit for me and where I was going to grow most as a player,” Genzman said. “I think for me staying where I was and growing with the organization for another year is going to help me most.
“Coming back for a second season, I basically just want to improve myself in whatever ways I am able to, and to help out my teammates get better and help push them along with myself.”
Motor City coach-GM Jason McCrimmon realizes the potential Genzman has and is anxious to see that turn into results next season.
“I'm very excited to have Genzman back in our lineup for this season,” McCrimmon said. “He was a bright spot on our team before injury and I'm expecting him to pick up where he left off. Brendan will provide us with added scoring power up front with a solid defensive mindset to help us in close games. Great re-sign for us.”
Last season, Genzman noted that even as the team’s win-loss record wasn’t favorable, he improved in a few areas on the ice.
“I would say the positives from last season were the fact even though we didn’t have the best record, the team was close and we all wanted to improve through the season and try to get better as a team,” said Genzman. “Last year, I improved most on my awareness on the ice, my defensive abilities improved over the year, and I grew accustomed to the faster paced game.
“We made the playoffs last year which I wasn’t able to play healthy in. I want us to make it back next year and this time, try and make a deep run. I think with us all improving throughout the season, I see no reason in us making a run this year.”
Genzman said his plans for the rest of the summer are to start getting back in the shape he wants to be in for hockey and keep working at his summer job.
The Beantown Classic tournament organization will make history this coming weekend in Exeter, N.H., as the tournament welcomes the NextGEN AAA (Advancement In Athletics and Academics) Foundation Hockey team for its Beantown Summer Classic, to be run Aug. 8-11 in Exeter, N.H.
The NextGEN AAA Foundation squad will field a team entirely consisting of black and brown players from the United States, Canada and Great Britain. The Foundation was founded by Dee Dee Ricks, a philanthropist and self-described Hockey Mom. Coaching the NextGEN AAA team in Exeter will be New Jersey Devils Assistant Coach and former Boston University and NHL player Mike Grier, as well as former NHLer Bryce Salvador, NextGEN AAA’s NHL Alumni Ambassador.
“As someone who makes his living in the sport of hockey, any opportunity to help grow the sport is what we are all trying to do,” said Beantown Classic Founder and President Peter Masters. “I am always looking to help nourish any initiative to get more athletes involved in this great sport.”
“I am extremely happy and grateful to work with this group of young and talented players,” said Mike Grier, in a NextGEN AAA Foundation release. “Thank you to NextGEN and the National Hockey League for supporting the development of minority players pursuing their dreams.”
“NextGEN provides youth hockey opportunities and experiences for young men of color that I wish I had when I was growing up in the game,” said Bryce Salvador. “The game of hockey continues to increase the number of diverse players with the talent and skill to compete in college, in the minors, and the NHL, and supporting organizations like NextGEN, who develop those pathways, is vital.”
The National Hockey League (NHL) and Pure Hockey will sponsor the team.
“NextGEN is carving out a pipeline of diverse, elite-level hockey talent,” said Kim Davis, Senior Executive Vice President of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legislative Affairs at the NHL. “We believe in the near future more teams across the continent will feature more players of color, and this NextGEN team is a strong signal that we are moving closer to that day.”
The Beantown Classic’s Masters - a former Boston College player - recalls when he was first contacted about the possibility of NextGEN AAA Foundation’s team joining his event.
“The Beantown Classic is in its 17th year and this is the first time we have allowed a pre-rostered, full team to participate in this event. We have always had 350-400 individual entry athletes register through a stringent evaluation process and then place them on teams to compete each August,” Masters said.
“I received a call from Brett Peterson, who is a full-time NHL agent,” Masters added. Peterson is an advisor/consultant to the Foundation. “He explained the genesis of the team and the goals and that he has worked with this group the past two summers and he then pitched them joining our event for the first time. When presented with the goal of NextGen and the team they wanted to bring, it was a no-brainer for us to include them in our event as presented.”
Team recruitment was led by Rod Braceful, the Assistant Director of Player Personnel for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.
“I’m extremely honored to assist the NextGEN Foundation and support minority players and families navigating elite levels of the game,” said Rod Braceful. “It was a similar organization in Detroit that fueled my love for the game and role models like Mike Grier and Bryce Salvador who inspired me and many others to find a career path in hockey.”
The NextGEN AAA Foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of student-athletes – primarily through academic and athletic intervention – while striving to create an all-inclusive environment in youth hockey. NextGEN has provided over $1 million in scholarships to support student-athletes of color at some of the leading preparatory schools, colleges, and travel hockey programs throughout North America.
“This is our third year bringing together some of the top diverse student-athletes in North America and Great Britain to compete in the Beantown tournament,” said Ricks. “Our roster represents just how far we have come in less than a decade, thanks to people like Rod, Mike and Bryce and the generosity of the NHL and Pure Hockey.”