The Steinbach Pistons are proud to announce that forward Ty Naaykens has committed to the St. Lawrence University Saints of the NCAA Division I.
The Winnipegger was off to a strong start this season putting up 12 points (3G, 9A) in the 8 games played before the pause, earning him the MJHL’s peak performer of the month for October. Naaykens finished the 2019-20 season with 55 points (23G, 32A) in 58 games, just one point shy from leading the team.
“I am very excited for Ty, and to see his efforts and dedication to improving be rewarded,” Pistons Head Coach & GM Paul Dyck shared. “His game continues to grow, he is a great young man and excellent teammate, making him very deserving of this opportunity.”
The Pistons acquired Naaykens from the Winnipeg Blues in a blockbuster trade during the summer of 2019. Now in his second season with the Pistons, he says playing in Steinbach is a junior experience like no other in the MJHL.
“Coming to Steinbach has given me an opportunity to play high end hockey and has allowed me to improve in many areas of my game with resources and people like Paul,” he explained. “It has helped me grow as a player and as a person. From volunteering and working in the community, to resources the team gives us to put extra work in at the rink or the gym. Wherever you go in town, you are recognized as a Piston.”
Naaykens will attend St. Lawrence in the fall of 2021 where he will play under Head Coach Brent Brekke in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). The school, located about 30 minutes from the Canada/US border in upper New York state, provides a highly recognized education which Naaykens says was very important to his family during his decision-making process.
When solidifying the commitment, the Naaykens family was on a zoom call with the Saints’ coaching staff and the young forward admits it was difficult to contain all the excitement. The newest Pistons’ Division I commit says he is honoured to have been given this opportunity and hopes to make an early impact on the Saints squad.
Although Naaykens’ time is not yet completed in Steinbach, he has a message for Pistons fans.
“I would just like to thank my family, coaches, billets and my teammates for all the help and support. To the fans, thank you for your support, I look forward to getting back on the ice in January.”
Congratulations to Ty and the Naaykens family on this exciting news.