TIER 1 Elite Hockey League: Oakland Junior Grizzlies Hockey Club

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Halverson Inks an NHL Contract

    The Oakland Junior Grizzlies are proud to announce that Brandon Halverson has signed an entry level NHL contract with the New York Rangers. He is the organizations first player to sign an NHL contract. The star goaltender played with the Oakland Junior Grizzlies Midget Major team in 2012 before joining the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. Last season he was chosen as one of America’s top 20 players to represent team USA in the 2015 World Junior Championships.

    "The Grizzlies organization was very fortunate to have a player of Brandon’s caliber come through our program”. Hockey Director Dwayne Norris said. "He is a tremendous talent and competitor with a bright future in front of him.  It's been exciting to watch Brandon develop and see him become an elite player at the next level. We would like to congratulate Brandon on being drafted by the New York Rangers and wish him the very best in his pro career”.  

    He posted an incredible 40-5-2 record last year in the OHL with a 2.63 goals against average and a .913 save percentage with 6 shutouts. He is the first Rangers draft pick in franchise history to earn at least 40 wins in juniors in one season. He also posted a 10-4 record in the playoffs. 

Once again the Grizzlies would like to extend their congratulations out to Brandon and his family

Go Grizzlies

TOP GRIZZLY NEWS

OJG and Berkley Youth Hockey Association Form New Partnership

            The Oakland Junior Grizzlies organization is proud to announce their partnership with the Berkley Youth Hockey Association starting in the 2015-2016 season.

 The Berkley house and travel programs will become part of the Oakland Junior Grizzlies. The dedicated staff that made BYHA will continue to be part of the new organization. The house program will continue to be called the Bears and the “Learn to Skate” program will be named the Cubs and will part of Grizzly organization this fall season.  

“The Berkley hockey program is the epitome of community based hockey. It is built into the fabric of the Berkley community. We feel very proud to be part of the Berkley family,” Grizzlies President Terry Bishop said.

“When John Nicolai (BYHA President) educated me about the upcoming Mayors Cup we were anxious to help support and sponsor this traditional competition between the alumni of the two Berkley High Schools,” Bishop said. “It was such a great time watching the game with Mayor O’Dwyer and Councilman Dan Terbrack who are passionate advocates of the hockey program and the association with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies.”

After the initial meetings, The Grizzlies stepped up and purchased the previous unutilized ice capacity and laid a solid financial future for the Berkley Ice Arena for future generations of Berkley kids to enjoy.

The Grizzlies are committed to growing the game and will use their name recognition and the 11 ex-NHL players and 2 Olympic Medalists who now coach in the organization to help bring kids to the rink to give them a chance to experience playing this great game.

"The Grizzlies will sponsor a number of Try Hockey for Free, Bring Your Friend to the Rink and community advertising to bring kids to the rink," Grizzlies Hockey Director Dwayne Norris said. "The Grizzlies sponsor Trilogy Marketing is committed to this growth project and lowering the cost of hockey," 

The Grizzlies look forward to working with, and supporting the ex-BYHA management team that is the heart and soul of the program. Another component of the merge is it gives the Berkley house program players a migration path to Tier 1 and Tier 2 hockey which had 2 players make the US National Development Team this year as well as having a combined 12 Junior Hockey draft picks between 8 United States Hockey League (USHL) picks and 4 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) picks.

The Grizzlies will be very well rounded in the 2015-2016 season. After the Grizzly/Berkley merge, the Grizzlies will have over 25 teams in House, Tier 2 (A/AA) and Tier 1 (AAA) Hockey, also with the new girls program starting this year as well. 

USHL Selects 8 Grizzlies in 2015 Draft

Phase 1

Chris Cameron, 3rd Round 37th Overall (Lincoln Stars) (6’3”/210) A defenseman from Grosse Point (MI) is a big, strong athletic defender that has a heavy shot from the point, Chris had 14 points (4-10-14) in 66 games this season.  Chris showed the ability to play a very heavy defensive game leading the U16 Grizzlies in penalty minutes with 82 PIM, this season.  Chris looks to build upon his ’14-15 campaign, when he returns to the U16 Grizzlies.

Gino Carabelli, 3rd Round 47th Overall (Muskegon Lumberjacks) (6’0”/195) A forward from the U16 Grizzlies recorded 13 goals and 14 assists in 64 games this season. Gino is an excellent north and south power forward who scored big goals for the U16 team all season. He is also an excellent forechecker who has incredible upside in the coming years.   

Drew Hunter, 4th Round 59th Overall (Omaha Lancers) (6’3”/175) A play-making defenseman from Livonia (MI) had an excellent finish to the ‘14-15 campaign.  Drew had 23 points (8-15-23) in 66 games played, with the majority of his points coming within the last 25 games of the season.  Drew excelled down the finish quarterbacking the power play and jumping into the rush.  Also drafted in the OHL, Drew is seeking to become one of the elite offensive defensemen at the U16 level, when he returns to the U16 Grizzlies.

Hugh Anderson, 7th Round 98th Overall (Green Bay Gamblers) (6’0”/185) is an athletic defenseman from Green Bay (WI) He made the full-time shift to defense in the ’14-15 season.  Throughout the season, Hugh showed the ability to be one of the best shut-down defenders at the U16 level, playing with good posture and a physical edge to him.  Hugh finished with 12 points (5-7-12) in 65 games played, and looks to build upon his offensive totals next season, when he returns to the U16 Grizzlies.

Phase 2

Danny DiGrande, 2nd round 26th overall (Muskegon Lumberjacks) (5’11”/180) is a forward who spent his time with the U18 Midget Major Grizzlies last season. He plays a 200 foot game with a great knack for putting pucks in the net. He finished 2nd in scoring during the regular season, recording 10 goals and 18 assists in 32 games played.

Coale Norris, 5th round 70th overall (Muskegon Lumberjacks) (6’1”/185) is a forward who played with the U18 Midget Major team this past season. He has an effective scoring touch who led his team in scoring this year and scored big goals for the U18 team this year. He recorded 14 goals and 16 assists in 33 Tier 1 Elite League games this year. He also has tremendous playmaking ability that will take him a long way next year.

Eric Nilsson, 16th round 259 overall (Youngstown Phantoms) (5’8”/161) is a defensemen who spent his 2014-2015 campaign with the U16 Midget Minor team. He is a very smooth skater with an opportunity to do great things next season. His tremendous work ethic is what sets him apart from a lot of other players. In 63 games last year, Nilsson had 7 goals and 6 assists with 57 penalty minutes. He looks to improve on his point total next year when he returns to the U16 Grizzlies.

Trevor Bishop, 19th round 305th overall (Tri City Storm) (5’10”/150) is a forward who played with the U16 Midget Minor team this past season. He is an elite penalty killer, using his legs to make things happen as his skating is his best quality. A seasoned Grizzly, Bishop recorded 7 goals and 10 assists in 66 games this year. He looks to improve on his strength and continues to use his skating to create opportunities next year when he returns to the U16 Grizzlies next year. 

Top Grizzlies News

U16 Midget Minor AAA Team Sends Two Players TO NTDP for the 2015-2016 Season
 

The Oakland Jr Grizzlies organization is pleased to announce that Midget Minor players Josh Norris (Oxford, MI) and Joey Cassetti (Pleasanton, CA) have been selected to play for the United States National Team Development Program (NTDP). 

 

The NTDP was started in 1996 by USA Hockey as a way to identify elite ice hockey players under the age of 18, and prepare them to represent the United States in international play.  The NTDP competes in the United States Hockey League (USHL), and the U17 NTDP is scheduled to pay in 3 international tournaments next season, including the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, 2015 Four Nations Tournament and the 2016 Five Nations Tournament. 

 

Josh Norris (5’11”/170 lbs.), a veteran Grizzly player is committed play his college hockey at the University of Michigan.  Norris, whose season was shortened due to injury scored 28 points in 21 games played, is a two-way centerman with elite speed and skill.  “Its such an honor to represent my country,” Norris said.  “This has been a long-term goal of mine, and it is a special honor.” 

 

Joey Cassetti (6’3”/185 lbs.), a first year player within the Grizzly organization, moved to Michigan from California, to further his hockey career.  Cassetti is pro-style left winger with excellent size and dynamic skill, score 27 points in 65 games this season.  After learning of his commitment, Cassetti stated, “I’m beyond excited to start the year off and put on the USA jersey.  I’m looking forward to making memories I’ll never forget.”

 

Midget Minor Head Coach Dan Riedel was very excited after speaking with both players. “I want to congratulate both Josh and Joey on their success,” stated Riedel.  “It is a great honor to our team’s players and coaches, and the entire Grizzly organization to have two players selected to represent our country, at the NTDP.  It is a testament to the family style culture, and the expectation of success, that has been formed not only with our U16 team, but throughout the entire Grizzly organization.”

 

Congratulations to both players on making the Grizzly organization proud!

 

Grizzlies Make Impact at OHL Draft

 

Four Grizzlies players were selected in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection Draft on April 11

Josh Norris, 6th Round, 110th Overall (Niagra Ice Dogs)

Josh Norris (5’11”/175) a two-way center from Oxford (MI) has elite speed and skill, Josh had 28 points (10-18-28) in 21 games played this season.  Josh is an extremely talented young player with excellent hockey sense and feel for the game.  Josh is committed to playing with the US NTDP next season, and has a verbal commitment to the University of Michigan. 

 

Chris Cameron, 10th Round, 198th Overall (Barrie Colts)

Chris Cameron (6’3”/210) defenseman from Grosse Point (MI) is a big, strong athletic defender that has a heavy shot from the point, Chris had 14 points (4-10-14) in 66 games this season.  Chris showed the ability to play a very heavy defensive game leading the U16 Grizzlies in penalty minutes with 82 PIM, this season.  Chris looks to build upon his ’14-15 campaign, when he returns to the U16 Grizzlies. 

 

Drew Hunter, 12th Round, 232 Overall (Niagra Ice Dogs)

Drew Hunter (6’3”/175) a play-making defenseman from Livonia (MI) had an excellent finish to the ‘14-15 campaign.  Drew had 23 points (8-15-23) in 66 games played, with the majority of his points coming within the last 25 games of the season.  Drew excelled down the finish quarterbacking the power play and jumping into the rush.  Drew is seeking to become on of the elite offensive defensemen at the U16 level, when he returns to the U16 Grizzlies.

 

Hugh Anderson, 13th Round, 253 Overall (Owen Sound Attack)

Hugh Anderson (6’0”/185) athletic defenseman from Green Bay (WI) made the full-time shift to defense in the ’14-15 season.  Throughout the season, Hugh showed the ability to be one of the best shut-down defenders at the U16 level, playing with good posture and a physical edge to him.  Hugh finished with 12 points (5-7-12) in 65 games played, and looks to build upon his offensive totals next season, when he returns to the U16 Grizzlies.

 

President and founder Terry Bishop had some special things to say about these four boys.

 

“I could not be more proud of these boys. Josh, Chris, Drew and Hugh have worked extremely hard and this honor is very deserving. Bishop said, "I am even more proud of them for the type of teammates they are and their commitment to their team and coaches.”  

 

“Dan and Shawn, our Midget Minor coaches, have done an exceptional job with the team evidenced by two players (Josh Norris and Joey Cassetti) making the NTDP team and these 4 players being drafted by the OHL. And also multiple college committments. We are also excited about the prospect for even more players to be choosen  in the upcoming USHL draft”.

 

The Grizzlies are committed to having the best coaching staff in youth hockey. The Grizzly organization has built a premier staff with 11 ex-NHL players as well as many high profile ex-NCAA players and Olympic Medalists. All of our coaches have one common attribute through their extensive background “They know how important hockey isn’t”. They are committed to molding our organizations players into well-rounded young men."

 

Congratulations Boys once again!!!

 

Oakland Jr. Grizzlies Spring Team List

2015 Grizzlie Coaching Staff

Grizzly Brandon Halverson Drafted by the New York Rangers!

2012/2013 Grizzlies U18AAA Brandon Halverson is the New York Rangers first pick in the 2014 NHL Draft! Brandon was the 59th overall pick. Brandon is the Grizzlies first NHL draft pick. The organization was founded 7 years ago as a A/AA Hockey Club and joined the Tier One Elite AAA Hockey league in 2012. “Brandon helped put our organization on the map. He was a star goalie for our 2012/13 Midget Major team and led them to a great year” Terry Bishop, President and Founder of the Grizzlies. “The entire organization is so proud of him. Everyone in the organization has been following him since he was drafted by Sault Ste. Marie in the OHL. He has skated with the boys this summer and is an inspiration to our younger players.” Bishop added “He’s not only an outstanding goalie but a great young man with a great career ahead of him!”

Annual MAHA Champions Dinner

Papa Bear's Champs.

The 1999 Tier I and 2001 Tier II team's posed for a picture with OJG President Terry "Papa Bear" Bishop at the Annual MAHA Champions Banquet April 16th in Livonia.

Welcome

 
THE CLUB DEDICATED TO PLAYER DEVELOPMENT & PROMOTION
For more information please contact
Dwayne Norris - Hockey Director
 
 
 

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