Janesville defenseman Wareham makes NCAA DI commitment
February 14, 2017
By Mason Lyttle, Janesville Jets
The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that defenseman Blake Wareham has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the Canisius College Golden Griffins of the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA).
Wareham (6'0/185) is a Chicago native and has played in every game for the Jets so far this season. In 77 career games with Janesville, the 19-year-old defenseman has skated to a +23 mark, often against the opposition’s top units.
“Without the Jets, I don’t know if I have this commitment,” said Wareham. “When I first got here, I wasn’t playing a lot, and [head] coach [Joe] Dibble told me to trust the process. Once I got used to the faster speed and the bigger bodies, that’s when I started playing my game.”
Dibble and his staff scouted Wareham out of the Chicago Mission program, and brought him to a practice two years ago. Within weeks, he was tendered and playing affiliate games as a Jet.
“Blake has grown and developed a lot since coming to Janesville,” said Dibble. “But if you went back and watched film of him back when we tendered him, you’d see a lot of the same habits and skills that have earned him this commitment. He’s always had an unbelievable stick and has always kept great gaps. When he’s on his game, he’s the kind of defenseman you don’t always notice, because he’s out there quietly doing his job and breaking up plays consistently.”
The Golden Griffins play in Buffalo, New York, at the 1,800-capacity HarborCenter. Head coach Dave Smith has held the reigns since 2005.
“The more I spoke with their staff, and the more research I did on the program, the more I realized it was the right fit for me and the place I wanted to be,” Wareham said. “I looked at the academics and the hockey side of things and realized it was the program that checked all the boxes.”
In Buffalo, Wareham will join former teammate Blake Weyrick, who appeared in net 37 times for Janesville over parts of two seasons.
“I talked to Weyrick quite a bit,” Wareham said. “He loves it up there and he’s a great guy, so it’ll be exciting to be back there playing with him.”
Wareham becomes the ninth player of the 2016-17 Janesville Jets to commit to a Division I program, joining Adrian Holesinsky (Maine), Jakov Novak (Bentley), Chris Dodero (American International), Cole Paskus (UMass Lowell), Colin Felix (UMass Amherst), Jack Gates (Colorado College), Michael Maloney (Brown University), and Joey Abate (Wisconsin).