The Spruce Grove Saints are proud to announce second year forward Niko Jovanovic has committed to the historic University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hockey Program located in South Bend, Indiana. The Fighting Irish compete in the Big 10 Conference of the NCAA Men’s Hockey Division I.
Jovanovic is having a breakout sophomore campaign with the Saints, compiling 29 points (9 goals, 20 assists) in 26 games with Spruce Grove this season.
Saints General Manager Rob Sklaruk had high praise for the newest Irish commit, saying, “Niko is a creative playmaker on the wing. He is very good at controlling the puck down low and is strong on the boards and willing to take the puck to the front of the net.”
The 6’4”, 210-pound power forward from West Vancouver, BC has been garnering lots of interest from NCAA schools as his game has hit new heights this season.
Saints bench boss Bram Stephen was thrilled to see Jovanovic land at a school not typical for AJHL players to receive an offer from.
“Niko has improved tremendously over the past 2-3 seasons because he’s incredibly hard working, intelligent and diligent about his craft. On the ice, he has learned how he needs to play to be at his best and he has committed himself to that style of play. Some players aren’t willing to do that, Niko embraced it and is now reaping the rewards,” exclaimed Stephen.
Niko took some time to reflect on what lead to his commitment.
“Having the opportunity to play for Notre Dame is a dream come true. It is a historic and prestigious university. Growing up they (Notre Dame) were always a team that I dreamed of playing for and to now know that I have the chance to wear that jersey and those iconic gold helmets is something I'm tremendously grateful for.”
Jovanovic finished with acknowledging the people in his life to thank along the way.
“I have so many people in my life to thank for being by my side and helping me pursue my hockey career. From San Jose to Vancouver and Spruce Grove, I can’t thank my teammates, coaches, trainers, advisors, and family enough. All the work put it behind the scenes by everyone is what has made this whole process so special and is what I'll never forget when looking back. Coming and joining the Saints program was the best decision for me and my family and I hope to leave a big mark here with them before joining the Fighting Irish.”
Jovanovic joins Liam Watkins (Nebraska-Omaha), Brett Pfoh (Bowling Green), Breck Mckinley (Bowling Green) as committed players to NCAA Division I Universities.
The entire Saints organization would like to congratulate Niko and his family on his commitment.
You can catch Niko and the rest of the Saints at their next home game when they host the Bonnyville Pontiacs on Tuesday, November 30th at 7 pm at the Grant Fuhr Arena.
You can secure your tickets online now for each game at tickets.sprucegrovesaints.ca