During Cristian Adragna’s two seasons with the Metro Jets, he always seemed to make something happen every time he hit the ice.
Now, the 20-year-old from Rochester Hills, Mich., will get to bring that passion and intensity to the college hockey world after recently committing to NCAA Division III Trine University, an NCHA school located in Angola, Ind.
“Trine appealed to me for so many reasons,” Adragna said. “I loved how the school was a close-knit campus and not scattered everywhere, the location and being close to home, as well as their hockey program and the way they run things. Making this commitment is a dream come true. As a kid growing up in the hockey hub Michigan is, it was a dream to play NCAA hockey, and having this opportunity in front of me is just beyond what I imagined.
“As a freshman, I hope I can fit in both in the classroom and on the ice easily. With Trine being a smaller school, I hope to establish relationships with all of my classmates very quickly. As for on the ice, I hope I can make an instant impact on the team. They had a very good season last year and I only hope I can help them go even farther into the playoffs this upcoming season.”
In the classroom, Adragna, who served as an alternate captain this season, is looking to major in Business.
“Academically I expect nothing but the best from Trine, and I can’t be more excited,” said Adragna. “Getting back into the swing of school will be fun. After two years of not being in a classroom, I think it will be awesome to get back to the student-athlete mentality and be the best in both worlds, the classroom and the ice.”
During his two seasons with the Jets, Adragna collected 34 goals and 86 points in 73 regular-season games, adding 11 goals and 15 points in 13 USPHL playoff games.
“Every year we are blessed to have players invest in themselves and the Jets to develop and advance,” said Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville. “Cristian was a different breed. He took it to another level and took what he did seriously. It was evident in his preparation, leadership and, naturally, his play. He is a player every coach wants on his team and every coach hates to play against. The attention he draws on the ice was impressive and his maturity to play through some of it was as well.
"Not only is he a bull on the ice, but he can score, play in all situations and back all of it up with his toughness. We were lucky to have him here and help him reach his goals, and Trine is lucky to have him for the next four. ‘Drags’ had many NCAA options, but ultimately chose Trine, and we wish him the best of luck."
“Cristian is so strong on his skates and his speed makes him an absolute force on the ice,” added Jets Associate Coach Jamie Lovell. “He really raised the level of his game during the playoffs, and it really showed during the national championship. We’re going to miss him, but Trine is getting a great character player for their program, and we wish him all the best as he starts the next chapter of his life and hockey career.”
Adragna said his time in a Jets uniform has “honestly been one of the biggest blessings in my life.”
“The entire coaching staff cares so much about the players and making sure they get what they need to succeed,” Adragna said. “There are honestly too many people to thank when it comes to this. From Pete Cammick to Coach Q, Jamie, (assistant coaches) Tina (Ciraulo), Randy (Wilson), and Dan (Pszenyczny) teaching us all season long, to Matt (Prieur) and Doug (Bailey) broadcasting our games, to Matt Mackinder with all of the media and announcing of games in the arena, I cannot thank them all enough.
"These people are what make the Metro Jets the Metro Jets. There is an unconditional amount of love that everyone has for each other in the organization which is why this place is so special.
“To all of the coaches, thank you for believing in myself and your players this season. I know I speak for the players of the organization when I say that you guys are the best thing that happened to us. To impact the lives of young boys and watch them become men is difficult to do, but you all managed to do so, and I couldn’t be happier that it was you guys that have been with us every step of the way. Being a Jet is more than just a jersey - it’s a way of life. So thank you from the bottom of my heart to this organization and all it has done for me.”
Going further, Adragna said he will miss being able to throw on the Jets jersey on a daily basis.
“What I will remember most about my time as a Jet are the relationships I made,” said Adragna. “Putting it into words just does not do justice to what all of these people mean to me, it just simply doesn’t. All of my teammates and coaches and experiences I had over my two seasons are the some of the greatest things that has ever happened to me.”
Off the ice, Adragna said his biggest supporters helped him realize his gift to play hockey has given him memorable junior hockey memories and more to come at Trine.
“I want to thank my entire family for everything that they have done for me on this long journey,” said Adragna. “The unconditional amount of love and support you guys gave me throughout this whole process is just amazing. I wouldn’t be able to do anything without them. I love you all more than you can know, so from the bottom of my heart, just thank you, all.”