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Local talent Darin Kennedy back with Metro Jets, seizing opportunity to continue development

By Matt Mackinder, 06/24/20, 9:15AM EDT


FRASER, Mich. – Darin Kennedy came to the Metro Jets last season looking to take the next step in his development as a junior hockey player.

The 2002 birth year out of nearby Macomb did just that, collecting two goals and an assist in 25 games for the MJDP team and making strides on and off the ice.

This past week, he re-upped with the Jets for the upcoming 2020-21 USPHL season.

“I did not hesitate when presented an opportunity to re-sign with the Jets,” Kennedy said. “I have had numerous video sessions with the coaches, and we discussed my game play and areas that I can improve in. What I improved on most last year was having the confidence to make plays with the puck.”

Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville said watching Kennedy improve last season is what the Jets can provide to all their players. Having only turned 18 in April, the Metro staff is anxious to see what Kennedy’s second season brings to the table.

“’DK’ was one of our youngest players last season,” Quenneville said. “However, his maturity and desire to elevate his game was fun to work with. Our program is designed for players wanting to commit to the process. DK made great strides in his habits and consistency. The second half of the year was great to see him find success everywhere in his game. We look forward to continuing to work with Darin, both on and off the ice."

After playing for another USPHL franchise during the 2018-19 season as a 16-year-old, Kennedy saw the benefits in playing for the Jets last year, another reason why re-signing for 2020-21 was an easy decision.

“As the season progressed, I saw what set us apart from other organizations,” said Kennedy. “We have an excellent coaching staff and a great facility (Fraser Hockeyland).”

With summer officially here, Kennedy wants to use as much time as possible to get ready for September.

“With our season ending in the playoffs, it left a bad feeling in my stomach,” said Kennedy. “I know that we should have gotten much farther. To be prepared for the upcoming season, I am sticking to a strict off-ice training regimen and diet. I am training and skating full time at the MAT. It's great to be around the team like a family in the offseason.

“I have been treating the quarantine like an offseason. I am using this situation to my advantage in preparing for the upcoming season. Ever since gyms closed down, I have been working out at home.”

Photo/Jilleen Hays