(Spruce Grove, AB) ? General Manager Rob Sklaruk and the Spruce Grove Saints are proud to announce that 2002 born forward Nikola (Niko) Jovanovic has signed a letter of intent for the 2020-2021 season.
Jovanovic spent the 2019-20 season as a member of the San Jose Sharks U18 team who compete in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League (T1EHL).
The North Vancouver native finished the season 3rd in team and 20th in league scoring with a stat line of 11 goals, 6 assists and 40 penalty minutes in 23 contests.
Head Coach Bram Stephen is excited to insert the left shooting forward into his line up and broke down why.
?Niko plays an intelligent game and is a handful for defenders with his ability use his speed to drive pucks north quickly.? Stated an excited Stephen.
?Due to his (Jovanovic) thirst for offense, he closes on defenders at a rapid pace, is tenacious on pucks and uses his long reach and good stick to create plays and scoring opportunities. Niko will make an impact in our lineups pace of play and add to the offense. Much like Peirce Kenney, Niko is a late bloomer and we are really excited to have him on our team and see his growth as a Saint.? Stephen finished.
In a phone call earlier today the newly minted Saint made it clear why Spruce Grove was his team of choice.
?Ultimately the Saints sat at the top of my list because of the organizations? values. Honesty, Integrity, and above all the great communication I?ve been able to develop between Rob and Coach Bram are the key factors that landed me here.? Stated Jovanovic.
?Between the commitment to player development that the Saints provide, and the special presence they hold in the Spruce Grove community, there was no turning down the opportunity to become a Saint.?
Jovanovic then provided some insight on his game and what to expect this fall.
?Saints fans can expect a player who plays a physical, puck hungry and power forward game. Someone who likes to be a shooter and contribute to the offense while also maintaining a strong defensive awareness. I?m extremely excited to be a Saint and look forward to playing in front of the great fans in Spruce Grove!? Jovanovic ended.
Listed at 6?3? and 185 pounds, Jovanovic still has lots of room to grow in his already staunch frame, presenting himself and the Saints with the makings of future impact player. General Manager Sklaruk likened his game to that of a former and pretty prolific scoring Saint.
?Niko is an aggressive power forward that can put the puck in the net. He?s the type of hockey player every team is looking for when you consider his size and strength that is accompanied with slick hands and a heavy shot. To me, in some ways, he reminds me of a young and raw Chris Van Os-Shaw with the booming shot and love to score goals.? Exclaimed the now 4th year GM.
?With our style of play it was important to us that Niko already excels in puck battles, uses his long hard stride in puck pursuits and competes to attack the net. We want to welcome Niko and his family to the organization and are excited to work and help develop his game to reach new heights.? Sklaruk concluded.
The Saints would like to congratulate Niko and his family on his commitment and a warm welcome to Spruce Grove.