Odessa forward Brown makes NCAA DI commitment
November 20, 2014
By Joey Battaino, Odessa Jackalopes
The Odessa Jackalopes, members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are proud to announce the career of advancement of forward Derek Brown, who has committed to play NCAA Hockey at Division I Niagara University beginning in the 2016-17 season.
“What an honor this is for me,” said Brown. “I had a chance to visit their (Niagara’s) campus and was very impressed with everything the school had to offer. I have to thank Coach (Greg) Gatto and Coach (Cody) Campbell for aiding me in this decision. Niagara is a great school with a rich tradition and I cannot wait to be a Purple Eagle.”
The Peoria, Arizona native got out to a red-hot start playing alongside Sacred Heart commit Kenny Hausinger. The two led the NAHL in scoring for the better part of six weeks to start the season. After breaking his wrist last season, Brown continued to play with a cast a put up 16 points in 49 games. This season, his second year with the Jackalopes, Brown has already surpassed that 16-point mark. Brown is currently second on the team in points with 22 in only 21 games played.
“The coaching staff is very excited for him,” said Jackalopes bench boss Greg Gatto. “We put him in a role this season to produce as a young player and he has come through in a big way. This is another great and proud day for our organization."
Gatto was not the only Jacks coach who had a major hand in the commitment of Derek Brown to Niagara. Former Purple Eagle goaltender and Jackalopes Assistant Coach Cody Campbell had a hand in it as well.
“Coach Gatto and I are extremely proud of Derek.” said Campbell. “Having played there from 2010 until 2013, I have a good relationship with the coaching staff and being able to tell Derek about the student athlete experience was plus but Derek’s play on the ice earned him this scholarship. He has had a great year with us and I know he will help the Purple Eagles when he arrives on campus at Niagara.”
Brown joins teammates Ian Mansfield, Jesse Junttila, Kenny Hausinger, Christian Hausinger, Alex Alger, and Corey Hoffman, as the seventh Jacks player to commit to play NCAA Division I Hockey in 2014-15 season.