The Metro Jets continue to be the benchmark for college and NCAA commitments and on Wednesday, they added one more to the growing list from the 2019-20 season.
Nolan Turi, a forward who came to the Jets this past season after two seasons of Tier II junior hockey experience and a stint in Canada, has decided to play NCAA Division III hockey starting in the fall for Finlandia University.
Turi will join Jets teammate Cameron Conover at Finlandia, an NCHA school located in Hancock, Mich.
“Finlandia came about around November just after we returned from China,” said Turi, a 20-year-old Canton, Mich., native. “Coach [Micah] Stipech came and watched one of our practices and both him and Coach [Joe] Burcar kept in contact with me very well throughout the season. I am hoping to bring some more size and speed to the team.
“Cam was one of my good buddies on the team and I can’t wait to spend four years with that beauty.”
Turi said he hasn’t decided on a major yet but is leaning toward a business curriculum.
This past season, Turi collected 15 goals and 55 points in 42 games for the Jets, good for third in team scoring.
“Playing for the Jets is an experience I will never forget,” Turi said. “I would play another year if I could. [Former Jets forward] Jhuwon Davis always told me, ‘You won’t regret it, Turi.’ And I surely didn’t. I wouldn’t be in this position today without the Metro Jets organization.
“Our season overall was very successful. We had a few hiccups early on, but our team managed to overcome situations and regroup in the second half of the season.”
Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville knew Turi didn’t see a whole lot of exposure time at the Tier II level and knew with a solid season in Fraser that the college opportunities would present themselves.
“Nolan skated with us a couple times last year before going to Canada to play junior hockey,” Quenneville said. “It was evident he was not getting the best exposure and opportunities elsewhere. We wanted to focus on him building better habits and provide more college looks. By the midway point of the year, schools started taking serious notice. They liked his compete level, his strong skating and versatile game. He took advantage of the opportunities here, learned to be more a more complete 200-foot player and worked hard every day.
“Nolan had a lot of NCAA options, but in the end chose Finlandia. We think he will excel at the next level because of his drive and attention to detail. We wish Nolan the best of luck."
Having bounced around the junior ranks until finding stability with the Jets, Turi is excited to head to college in the fall.
“I want to thank my mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, and the Isaacsons for the countless times where they’ve supported me and sacrificed so much to help me get to this point in my life,” said Turi. “Thanks to all of the Metro Jets boys that I call brothers. I couldn’t have done it without those boys.”
Before jaunting off to the Upper Peninsula later this summer, Turi – and the rest of society – must overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and new regulations in place.
“Since the lockdown has started, my best friends are lifting weights, roller blading and playing on my Xbox,” Turi said. “My plans for this summer are very simple. I am going to continue to train for the upcoming season, work at my job, and spend as much time with my friends as I can.”