Janesville defenseman Lapointe makes NCAA DI commitment
The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that defenseman Xavier Lapointe has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers of Atlantic Hockey.
“Playing college hockey means a lot to me. Three years ago I made the decision to move away from home to achieve this goal, it took a lot of sacrifices from not only me but also my family,” Lapointe said. “I am really grateful and thankful for them. It is a dream come true.”
Lapointe is the Jets’ third Division I commitment this season and the third under head coach Parker Burgess.
“Xavier exemplifies our organization’s commitment to player development and advancement. He has put the work in and invested in his own development path over the course of the last year and a half and now is getting rewarded for all of those efforts,” a statement Burgess and associate head coach Lennie Childs said. “X comes to the rink every day with a smile on his face and has an infectious personality and relentless work ethic. We are thrilled for Xavier and his family and have no doubt he will be a significant contributor to the RIT hockey program and on their campus.”
Lapointe is the first player in recent Janesville history to commit to RIT. The Tigers have been playing Division I hockey since 2005 and have earned plenty of accolades since. The team has four Atlantic Hockey regular season championships (2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11), four Atlantic Hockey tournament championships (2010, 2015, 2016) and three NCAA tournament appearances (2010, 2015, 2016).
Head coach Wayne Wilson has been at the helm at RIT since 1999 and led his squad to a Frozen Four appearance in 2010 and held a record of 385-267-71 prior to the 2020-21 season.
“RIT is a great and well-known program in college hockey, they have a great reputation on and off the ice,” Lapointe said. “I felt a connection right away with the coaches and fell in love with the school and the program.”
This season is Lapointe’s second in Janesville, and he’s already made significant strides this year. The St-Jerome, QC native has tallied three points in his nine games played so far, and had four in 28 games last season.
Lapointe credits his time in Janesville so far for readying him for the next step in his hockey journey.
“The Jets organization is one of the greatest in the NAHL without a doubt. I grew and still grow every day as a person and a player by being here,” Lapointe said. “If there is one thing I could take from my time in Janesville and bring to college, it’s how professional we act as a team and as people. I am still young and learning, but I feel like Janesville is giving me the opportunity to get to the next level and I am really grateful for that.”