The Whitecourt Wolverines are proud to announce 17-year-old forward Joseph Nardi has committed to play for the Northern Michigan University Wildcats (NCAA, Div. 1) beginning in 2017/2018 season.
The Edmonton, Alberta product, Nardi, lead all Wolverines rookies in scoring this season with 33 points. He was named the team’s co-rookie of the year along with teammate Justin Young and also this year’s fan favorite award winner. He joined the team after spending last year playing midget AA for the KC Colts where he put up 27 goals and 52 assists in 29 games.
“It was a tough year last year not making midget AAA, but I just stuck with it, worked hard and persevered and that’s what got me here,” said Nardi talking on his route to the AJHL. “I really want to thank my parents and my family for all their support, without them I would never have made it this far and also the entire Wolverines organization. This is a first class organization, from the coaching staff to all my teammates, none of this is possible without their support.”
Nardi will join current teammate James Vermeulen at Northern Michigan in the future.
“James is a great guy and one of the guys I look up to on the team and him going there played a big part in my decision,” continued Nardi on choosing Northern Michigan. “My parents and I discussed what it would be like to go there and we liked the facility, the fan base and coaching staff, but most importantly the education I would get there.”
“Anytime a player makes the jump from Midget AA to Junior A is a great accomplishment of itself and speaks highly of Joseph’s character,” said Wolverines Head Coach and GM Joey Bouchard talking about his standout rookie forward. “He has great offensive instincts and is a true competitor that demands a lot of himself. His success this season has been a direct result of his work ethic, attitude, and commitment to get better every day. Joseph is a great student of the game and is motivated and committed in improving the little details of his play. We all know how far he has come to get to where he is today and are very proud of him and are excited to have him part of our program for another two years. “
The Wildcats play in the WCHA (Western Collegiate Hockey Association) conference and are coached by Walt Kyle who is now in his 13th year at the helm of the program. He has previously been an NHL assistant coach with the New York Rangers and Anaheim Ducks, he was also the head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs while they were the Edmonton Oilers AHL affiliate. The Wildcats have appeared in the NCAA tournament 8 times since 1980, making the Frozen Four on three occasions and winning one national title in 1991. This year’s Wildcat team is currently tied for 4th in their conference with a record of 14-13-6 (11-10-4).
The entire Wolverines organization would like to congratulate Joseph and his family on his selection of Northern Michigan for his college experience and wish him all the best in his academics and athletics.
Last year the Wolverines sent 8 players onto collegiate careers at the CIS, ACAC and NCAA level.
Joseph is the 5th Wolverine to commit to the NCAA this season:
James Vermeulen – Northern Michigan University
Taden Rattie – Western Michigan University
Gordie Ballhorn – Rochester Institute of Technology
John Mullally – University of Alaska-Fairbanks
Joseph Nardi – Northern Michigan University