Marto joins JetsLast summer, Jake Marto drove with two classmates to Brad Malone’s hometown of Miramichi, New Brunswick, which is located east of Maine. This summer, Marto may be going a little further east than that.
By: By Brad Schlossman, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
Last summer, Jake Marto drove with two classmates to Brad Malone’s hometown of Miramichi, New Brunswick, which is located east of Maine.
This summer, Marto may be going a little further east than that.
The former Grand Forks Central and UND defenseman has signed a one-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets’ organization. The contract calls for Marto to play for either the St. John’s IceCaps in the American Hockey League or the Colorado Eagles in the East Coast Hockey League.
St. John’s, the top minor-league affiliate of the Jets, is located nearly 1,000 miles east of Maine on the island of Newfoundland.
Marto said a few teams showed interest, but he remained in contact with Jets assistant general manager Craig Heisinger throughout the summer. Heisinger had watched Marto play for the Sioux several times.
“He kept me informed as the summer went along and we got something finalized a couple of weeks ago,” Marto said. “I’m very excited. I was patient and let things kind of happen. I’m not sure what to expect, just taking it day-by-day. Whenever I get the opportunity, I’ve just got to jump on it and show what I can do. Hopefully, I can stay in the ‘A’.
Marto recently completed a four-year career with the Sioux. The former North Dakota Mr. Hockey winner played in 157 games, tallying 21 goals, 41 assists and 62 points. Marto had 17 points as a sophomore, 18 as a junior and a career-high 19 as a senior.
He was one of UND’s most reliable defensemen, playing alongside classmate Derrick LaPoint for most of his career.
Marto said he will spend the rest of his summer in Grand Forks, working out at Ralph Engelstad Arena. He will report to a camp in September, though Marto doesn’t know the details yet.
Marto is the seventh player from last year’s team to sign a pro contract. The others are Chay Genoway (Minnesota Wild), Matt Frattin (Toronto Maple Leafs), Brett Hextall (Phoenix Coyotes), Jason Gregoire (Winnipeg Jets), Brad Malone (Colorado Avalanche) and Brent Davidson (HC Boras, Sweden).
Evan Trupp and Derrick LaPoint are the only remaining unsigned seniors.
“There are lots of guys heading to camps,” Marto said. “It will be interesting to follow them. No matter where I end up, I’m always going to run into UND guys. It’s pretty exciting. UND produces a lot of good hockey players and hopefully we’ll be playing good hockey this year.”
UND releases schedule
UND officially announced its 2011-12 schedule Monday afternoon with no big surprises.
The season will open with a home exhibition game against the University of Regina on Oct. 1 and the regular season opens against Air Force in the Ice Breaker, which will be hosted at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Boston College and Michigan State also will play in the Ice Breaker.
The other highlight will be a game against Clarkson at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre on Jan. 7.
Schlossman is sports writer at Grand Forks Herald