Janesville forward DiPietro makes NCAA DI commitment
March 4, 2016
By Mason Lyttle, Janesville Jets
The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that forward Dawson DiPietro has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the Western Michigan Broncos of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC).
“For me it’s a dream school,” DiPietro said. “It’s been a dream school all my life. When it became a reality, I jumped at the opportunity. I’m grateful to become a part of the program.”
DiPietro, a 1995-born winger from suburban Cleveland, arrived in Janesville via a trade with the Austin Bruins in January. He exploded for seven points in his first four games with the Jets, and his 41 points between Janesville and Austin lead all Jets skaters. Since his acquisition, DiPietro has settled into a spot on Janesville’s top line alongside Martin Sundberg, a Wisconsin commit, and Adam Winborg, the Jets’ all-time leading scorer.
DiPietro's commitment comes fresh off his appearance just a few weeks ago at the 2016 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the Midwest Division team.
“DiPietro was a player on our radar for a while,” said Jets head coach and general manager Joe Dibble. “We knew him from when he played with Coulee last year, and knew he could bring speed and skill into our lineup. He’s a gifted forward with very good feet and hands who can absolutely produce offensively at the college hockey level.”
“The transition process was a little difficult,” said DiPietro (5’11”/170). “Every team is different, but these guys have been really welcoming. They deserve a lot of the credit for where I am now.”
The Western Michigan Broncos’ NCHC competition ranks among the toughest in college hockey. DiPietro will battle against elite programs like North Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha, who both advanced to last year’s Frozen Four in Boston, Massachusetts.
“You know, it made my decision that much easier,” DiPietro admitted about the quality of the league. “I’m excited and grateful that I get the opportunity to play against those teams, against those programs, and in those buildings.”
Andy Murray has led the Broncos’ hockey program since 2011. Murray boasts 20 years of NHL coaching experience, 10 of which came as a head coach with the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues. At Western Michigan, Murray has helped advance several players to the NHL, including Danny DeKeyser (Detroit) and NAHL alumnus Matt Tennyson (San Jose).
“I got to speak to coach [Murray] once so far,” said DiPietro. “He’s a great coach. Just talking to him for the short time that I got to, I could definitely tell that he knows his hockey and is one of the best coaches in college hockey. I’m more than excited to jump at this opportunity to be coached by Andy Murray.”
DiPietro becomes the eighth player of the 2015-16 Janesville Jets to commit to a Division I program, joining Shane Sellar (Dartmouth), Jack LaFontaine (Michigan), Nils Rygaard (Alaska-Anchorage), Martin Sundberg (Wisconsin), Kip Hoffmann (Alaska-Anchorage), Jack Gates (Colorado College), and Michael Maloney (Brown).