By Kevin Scott
GREAT FALLS, Mont., March 24, 2015 — The Great Falls Americans Junior A Hockey team is pleased to announce that forward Wade Wylie has signed a tender agreement with the Odessa Jackalopes of the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) South Division according to American Head Coach and General Manager, Jeff Heimel.
The NAHL is considered a Tier II Hockey League while the North American 3 Hockey League teams play in a lower level (Tier III) league. The purpose of the NA3HL (Tier III league) is to prepare players for the next level of junior hockey or collegiately.
The 5’11” forward from Lake Stevens, Washington scored 30 points (14 goals and 16 assists) in 37 regular season games during the 2014-15 NA3HL season. Wylie, an 18-year-old, who just completed his first season in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) and second season of junior hockey overall, appeared in five playoff games for Great Falls and helped the Americans win the NA3HL”s Frontier Division championship against the Helena Bighorns in two games in the best-of-three series. The Americans (38-13-3) also made an appearance at the 2015 NA3HL Silver Cup Championship Tournament in Geneva, Illinois in March.
Wade had a breakout season this year for the Americans and played some of his best hockey by being one of the top league scorers by scoring 12 points in his first seven contests and accumulated 30 points by the end of the 2014-15 season that resulted in a tie for sixth-place in team scoring. The newest member of the NAHL had three games that resulted in two goals and one assist including a September win (4-3) against the Billings Bulls, a 9-2 victory over the Bozeman Ice Dogs in December and a 6-0 shutout over the Yellowstone Quake in February.
Wylie was also a member of the NA3HL 18U Selects team at the 2015 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament that took place in Ann Arbor, Michigan in February.
He was also received an Honorable Mention as the NA3HL Frontier Division Star of the Week back on September 30th of this season (see the NA3HL press release).
Prior to this season, he played his first season of junior hockey for the Valencia Flyers of the Western States Hockey League (WSHL). The California-based Flyers are a USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III Junior A squad.
“Wade has come a long way under our guidance this season. He has a ton of natural ability but has really worked hard to develop into a complete player over the course of the year,” said Americans mentor Jeff Heimel. “We wish him all of the luck in the world as he takes the next steps in his hockey career.”
Click here to view Wade’s season statistics in the NA3HL.
Click here for a list of 2014-15 NA3HL tenders
A tender is a contract of sorts, a player signs announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Each team is granted ten (10) tenders, which include one tender exclusively used on players from the NAHL — plus or minus any trades — which become active on November 1st.Tendered players are not eligible for the NAHL draft, which will be held on June 9, 2015.
Story Courtesy: North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL): Great Falls forward Wylie signs an NAHL tender (March 24, 2015)