FRASER, Mich. – After two seasons of junior hockey, including the 2019-20 campaign with the Metro Jets, Mitchell Hoon is off to play college hockey.
The 2001-born forward from Evansville, Ind., recently committed to stay in Michigan and play for Aquinas College in Grand Rapids.
“I had an old teammate of mine, Brandon Rozema, who plays at Aquinas, and he talked highly of it,” said Hoon. “I went to a few of their games and really liked the team. I ended up contacting one of the coaches, who knew ‘Q’ (Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville) and we found a good fit for both sides.
“I hope to get regular minutes and learn from the older guys the way to play college hockey and how to win as a team.”
Aquinas head coach Jordan Permoda loves what Hoon brings to the table.
“We're thrilled to have Mitchell,” Permoda said. “He's coming to us from a historically well-run organization that is known for player development and we look forward to him continuing that development with AQ. I know Mitch is excited to have made his decision, and we can't wait to welcome him to the room."
In the classroom, Hoon intends to pursue business and accounting.
Quenneville said seeing Hoon buy in to the Jets’ platforms last season meant college hockey would be in his future.
“We would like to congratulate Mitchell on his commitment,” Quenneville said. “He was given an opportunity to play college hockey next year that he couldn’t turn down and that is the ultimate goal here. Mitchell took advantage of his opportunities with us and he came here wanting to learn. He was fortunate to get a lot of playing time and situational chances which will serve him well against older players next year."
Hoon noted how last season’s development in Fraser was the biggest key to obtaining the opportunity to skate for Aquinas.
“Training every day in the nicest facilities with the best coaches and teammates makes it very easy to want to get better,” said Hoon. “Every day, I learned more about my game and was pushed to try things that were hard for me. It really helped my game accelerate to the next level.
“I would say last season was the best hockey season I’ve had so far. I learned a lot about hockey, life, and how to be professional. We didn’t end up with the results we wanted, but we had a great group and it helped me get to where I wanted to go.”
On the ice with the MJDP in 2019-20, Hoon tallied 16 goals and 30 points in 41 games.
He’s hoping to replicate those numbers next season in college, but at the end of the day, it’s all about humility for Hoon in talking about his far-reaching support system.
“The list goes on when it comes to people to thank, but it’s mostly Q and (Jets associate head coach) Jamie Lovel who helped me every day,” Hoon said. “Even when the season was over, I had regular talks with Q to help me as a player and as a person. Also, Bo Cheesman, who I skated with growing up, he helped me carry myself off the ice and connect me with the right people. My parents have always been my biggest supporters, and I know this is a decision we are all happy and proud of.”
This summer, Hoon said he’s tried to stay busy, enjoying fishing and playing golf most days.
“My plans are to skate and work out like I would during the season with the Jets,” Hoon said. “I also plan to make a trip up north to skate with the boys and work out at the MAT. My biggest plan is to tour Aquinas and hopefully play golf with some of the guys while I’m up there.”