NOJHL team previews: Soo Eagles



Release Date: Friday, Sept. 11, 2015

NOJHL team previews: Soo Eagles

SUDBURY – The lone U.S.-based team in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League this season is the Soo Eagles from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

No stranger to the NOJHL, the Eagles are back in the fold after a couple year absence.

Aiming to once again be among the league’s elite clubs under associate coach and general manager Bruno Bragagnolo along with head coach Jim Capy, the squad will look to impress from the onset.

“We pretty much have an all-rookie team this year and no one who has played in the NOJHL,” offered Bragagnolo.

“The closest player we have to a vet would be Jake Hernandez who played with us in the NAHL late last season.”

Here’s a look at some of the names to watch out for on the Soo Eagles in 2015-16.

TEAM: Soo Eagles

GM/ASSOCIATE COACH: Bruno Bragagnolo



IN NET: Goaltender Jack Deines hails from Michigan and played high school at Jesuit Catholic while fellow netminder Jack Hickey, who is 20, hails from Illinois. Both goalkeepers have looked good so far according to the Eagles staff.

DAYTON HONKANEN, DEFENCE: Joins the team after being an all-star while playing high school hockey in Minnesota previously.

ALEX DI BACCO, DEFENCE: Played defence for the Chicago Young American program last season picking up a pair of goals and seven assists.

LEVI ROWAN, DEFENCE: A standout blueliner from Cadillac, Mich., where he captained his home town high school team in 2014-15.

Averaged over a point-per-game with 26 in 23 outings on 11 goals and 15 assists.

MIKE WINN, DEFENCE: Spent the past two years in the HPHL with Little Caesars under-18 side that won the State championship in Michigan last season.

Hails from Ann Arbor, Mich., and picked up a goal and 12 assists in 49 games helping anchor their defensive corps.

JAKE HERNANDEZ, FORWARD: Had a brief stint with the Eagles last season.

Spent the majority of the past two seasons with the Detroit Fighting Irish of the MWJHL where he had 47 points in 50 games scoring 29 times while doling out 18 assists.

SAM RAPPAPORT, FORWARD: Is from Basalt, Colo., and was a member of the Colorado Thunderbirds U-18 squad las season.

Scored four times and set up six others in 24 T1EHL U-18 contests.

JAKE PALMERIO, FORWARD: Notched 20 goals last season with the Batchewana Attack.

The 18-year-old forward hails from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

EVAN KETNER, FORWARD: Was also a member of the Little Caesars U-18 team that captured a State title in 2014-15.

Hails from Washington, Mich., and had 10 tallies and nine helpers in 49 HPHL contests with Little Caesars.

LANDON HUBBARD, FORWARD: Makes the jump to Jr. A after spending the previous two campaigns with Soo Indians U-18 side.

In 85 games, the Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., product scored 27 goals and added 25 assists for 52 points.

Others to watch out for include forwards Jake Saxton, Kendall Huckins, Kory Muzzy, Trevor Jestadt, Ryan Morse, Nate Harris, Brad Hofelich and Chris Skinner.

QUOTABLE: “Really happy to be back in the NOJHL and it appears as though the league keeps growing and getting better every year. I enjoyed being in the league before and look forward to enjoying it again. Looking forward to working with Jim Capy and trying to build this team into a contender. I think there is a lot of talent to work with here. I like our D a lot and I think that will be one of our strong points. Hopefully we will keep getting better as the season progresses.” – Bruno Bragagnolo, Associate Coach/GM