Release date: Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Lakers’ Willner & Jaswal commit to NCAA D-III St. Olaf
FORT FRANCES, Ont. – The three-time defending Superior International Junior Hockey League champion Fort Frances Lakers have announced that forward Andrew Willner along with defenceman Roshen Jaswal have both committed to attend St. Olaf College in the fall and play NCAA D-III hockey for the Oles program.
St. Olaf competes out of the nine-school Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and is based out of Northfield, Minn.
The 20-year-old Willner, who hails from New Brighton, Minn., was a second team SIJHL CCM Hockey all-star this season and was also named the league’s most sportsmanlike player award recipient.
Skating in 52 contests for the Lakers during the regular season, he finished fourth in SIJHL offensive production with 58 points on 22 goals and 36 assists.
He also picked up eight points in 10 postseason contests scoring twice and helping set-up six others.
“Andrew has worked hard all season to be a top player in our league and his performance has shown he is very deserving of moving on to the next level,” stated Fort Frances head coach and general manager Wayne Strachan.
“He is a quality person and knows what it takes on and off the ice to make the next level.”
As for the 20-year-old Jaswal, the Burnaby, B.C. product returned to the Lakers in early December and proceeded to register 26 points in 25 games, including 10 goals.
The Fort Frances blueliner also averaged nearly a point-per-game in the playoffs with nine in 10 outings on three tallies and six helpers.
“Roshen returned to our team working hard and competing to make the team better’” surmised Strachan on the D-man.
“His hard work helped him play important minutes for our team as well as his own success. Roshen has good work ethic and if he works hard can be a solid player at the D-III level.”
“We are extremely proud to announce that both Andrew and Roshen will be continuing their hockey careers and academics at a quality school and program that St. Olaf offers,” said Strachan.
“Coach Goldsworthy is a good hockey coach that believes they both can help his hockey program immediately,” added the five-time SIJHL coach of the year.
“The school aspect speaks for itself both these young men will walk away with quality degrees from an excellent institution.”
“Both players were integral parts of our team winning the SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup championship again this season.”
St. Olaf coach Sean Goldsworthy also offered his thoughts on his two latest recruits.
“Roshen Jaswal is a big, mobile defenseman with a heavy shot from the point. His skills should transfer well to the NCAA level, and be an impact in our program at St. Olaf College.”
“We are excited to have Andrew join our hockey program. He has made significant strides in his development this year and has become a complete player under coach Strachan.”
“We are excited to continue a strong relationship with Fort Frances and coach Strachan.”
The Lakers season continues next week as they travel to Kirkland Lake, Ont., to compete in the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A Championship, May 3-7, against the Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL), Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) and the host Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL).