FRASER, Mich. – Trevor Granzow came to the Metro Jets prior to the 2017-18 season as a local player looking to develop his game and see where it could take him.
Almost three years later, the 1999 birth year from Ray Township, Mich., leaves the team with a national championship ring and a commitment to Liberty University.
The national title came in Granzow’s rookie year and the Liberty decision happened recently, though it had been in the works for some time.
“I was first introduced to Liberty at the first USPHL Showcase of the year in Chicago,” Granzow said. “I met with one of the coaches and he basically told me to keep in touch throughout the year and I did exactly that. Going away to school is going to be a new experience for me that I am excited to begin. I have been playing hockey since I was 3 and played for my local travel team all the way until I was 16 years old. I then came to the jets, which was also extremely close to home, so this will be the first time I am leaving the state to play for a different team, but I am extremely excited to begin this journey.”
Liberty is located in Lynchburg, Va., and is one of the largest Christian universities in the world.
“I really don’t know exactly what role I will be taking on when I get to Liberty, but whatever role that is, I hope they know that I will be the best player and person I can for that role,” said Granzow. “I will be majoring in cybersecurity and the amazing program they have at Liberty, along with the great hockey program, seemed like the perfect fit for me.”
In 2018-19, Granzow led the MJDP with 22 goals and 56 points in 44 games and this past season with the Jets, tallied 17 goals and 42 points over 43 games, in addition to four assists in three playoff games.
“The Jets basically turned me into the player I am currently,” said Granzow. “The last three years were the biggest years of my hockey development so far. The amount of things I learned, ranging from technique to certain skills to off-ice behavior and how I carry myself, is unmatched. The Jets do an outstanding job getting players ready for college, and I cannot thank the coaches, staff, and everyone involved there enough for the help along my journey to college.
“My three years at the Jets organization were the three greatest years of my life so far. Coming into juniors and winning a national championship my first year, and then the next year helping the new development program make it to the playoffs in its first year. But what still hurts is that I had to end my age-out year short due to COVID. At the end of the day, I feel for all the other age-out players around the world who had this happen to them their age-out year also, but I know that I need to now focus on my future at Liberty.”
Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville saw Granzow start his junior career as a project with potential and end it as a polished player ready for college hockey.
“We couldn’t be more excited for ‘Granny,’” said Quenneville. “He had several NCAA options and ultimately made the best choice for his education and hockey opportunities. Liberty is one of the top programs in the country and their environment is nothing short of the pro life. Academically, they are one of the top universities. A long time ago when I was coaching in the NAHL, my first captain was Ben Hughes who transitioned from playing for Liberty to coaching at Liberty. I am happy we were able to get him a high-end player like Trevor.
“Granny has grown so much since his first year here and took advantage of his opportunities. Every year he got stronger, more mature and developed into a high-end, two-way forward. Liberty is getting a great teammate, versatile player and someone who bring the values he learned here which will fit in great with their program. We wish him the best of luck and congratulate him on his commitment."
Granzow noted that making a commitment like this is a “massive step” in not only his hockey career, but in life overall.
“My biggest thank yous go out to every single person that has been through the Jets organization,” said Granzow. “Coach Q, (associate head coach) Jamie Lovell, (assistant coaches) Randy Wilson and Dan Pszenyczny and (former assistant coach) Steve Kruk all had massive effects on turning me into the player I am now. Also, teammates like Griffin Sawyer, Connor Inger, Trevor Momot, just to name a few. I can go on and on about the guys older than me who taught me early how junior hockey works, and then when they went on to college, how college hockey works. Having friends like that is a true blessing and I can’t thank them enough for helping me along the way.
“I also want to thank (Jets director of communications and game-night announcer) Matt Mackinder. Everything he does and all the others do around the rink on game day and at practice is awesome and I’m going to miss hearing Matt’s voice after all the Jets goals at those home games.
“Lastly, I need to thank my family and friends outside of hockey. They also push me in the right direction all the time. Without my family’s support, I wouldn’t be the man I am today.”
With state restrictions changing due to the ongoing virus, Granzow can finally start to get ready for the 2020-21 season, something he has been looking forward to for a while.
“When COVID first put everyone into lockdown, there really wasn’t much I could do besides working out at home and running,” explained Granzow. “There was about two months or more straight where I didn’t even touch the ice. Now that we are skating again, I am getting back into my in-season shape and am excited to begin next season at Liberty.
“I have to head down to Virginia around mid-August, so this summer I am really just spending my last month or so with a few of my closest friends, and also staying in shape and skating at Fraser Hockeyland. This summer has been a new experience to all of us due to the virus, but I am not letting that phase my development and my transition into college hockey.”