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Odessa defenseman Perez makes NCAA commitment

May 6, 2021

Stephen Perez has played in 40 NAHL games this season between Odessa and Maine (photo by Danne Braden Photography).

The Odessa Jackalopes of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are excited to announce that Jacks defenseman Stephen Perez has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey for Skidmore College to play college hockey for the Thoroughbreds.

“Even though my stint in Odessa was not as long as I wish it could have been, I have grown so much as a player both on and off the ice here. I cannot thank Forts [Coach Fortier] and Skiddy [Coach Skidmore] enough for pushing me every single day to not only become a better hockey player but grow as a person. I feel extremely prepared to move into Skidmore College because of my time here in Odessa,” Perez said.

“Off the ice, I was able to have a once in a lifetime experience of living in West Texas and I cannot thank my teammates, coaches, billet family, the Warrick’s, the Scalzo’s, front office staff and the Jacks fans for the great southern hospitality and allowing me to see such a beautiful part of the country. Being a part of the Jackalopes was the best junior experience I could have ever asked for.”

A 6’3/205 lbs. native of Bloomfield, New Jersey, Perez came to Odessa from the Maine Nordiques in late January. He has been a consistent part of the Jackalopes defensive corps, playing in 27 games for the Jackalopes so far this year and being a stand-out presence in the Jackalopes locker room and to his coaches.

“Steve joined us mid-season and he has been a great addition to the locker room,” said Jackalopes coach Jason Fortier. “His attitude and commitment to the club has been evident since day one. He is [a] smart, physical defender that takes pride in the details. We are excited that he completed his junior hockey career with the Odessa Jackalopes.”

Skidmore College is located in Saratoga Springs, New York. The Thoroughbreds play at the Division III level and are a part of the New England Hockey Conference.

Click here for an updated NAHL to NCAA commitment list

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