The Kalkaska Rhinos have signed their first in-state player for the upcoming 2017-18 USPHL season.
Jonny Yanovsky, a native of downstate White Lake (a Detroit suburb), has previous junior hockey experience, playing last season with the SIJHL’s Minnesota Iron Rangers, so being away from home won’t be an issue for the 20-year-old.
“It’s hard to find people with the same mindset and vision as yours and that’s what I heard in Coach (Krzysztof) Oliwa and knew it was the right place to go to accomplish my goals,” Yanovsky said. “I chose Kalkaska because I know Coach will push me to be an even better version of myself as a hockey player. For myself, I’m confident I’m going to produce a lot and achieve my goal of playing Division I hockey. My goal for the team is to put the Rhinos on the map so more hockey players will come and experience how great Coach Oliwa’s program is the best and the way to do that is win a championship.”
With the Iron Rangers, Yanovsky tallied 12 goals and 35 points in 56 games.
Previously, Yanovsky played AAA hockey for the esteemed Victory Honda program and high school hockey at the prestigious Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.
Needless to say, the Rhinos are getting a top-quality talent.
“We are very excited to be able lock Jonny into a contract for this upcoming season,” said Oliwa. “He is one of the hardest working players on and off the ice. His work ethic combined with his skill set and speed makes him one of the best forwards on our team. We have very high expectations of Jonny and I have no doubt this is going to be best season yet in his young hockey career.”
“I’m not too much of a talker, but with my work ethic on and off the ice, I hope I can lead by example and help some younger guys adjust to playing junior hockey,” added Yanovsky. “As a hockey player, I feel speed as my greatest asset, but I’ve truly become more of a playmaker that plays all three zones extremely well and makes every one on the ice better.”
And knowing the Rhinos roster is shaping up to be one with a global flavor, that is something else that has Yanovsky pumped.
“My first year of juniors, I played with a lot of kids from Europe,” explained Yanovsky. “They are always the hardest workers, but also really good people as well.”
Growing up in Metro Detroit, Yanovsky said he started playing hockey when he was five and initially, it didn’t go as planned.
“Even though I fell all the time on the ice, it was the best time of my life,” said Yanovsky.
Yanovsky wants to use this season to hopefully get a D-I opportunity and down the road, to play in the professional hockey ranks.
“I want to take hockey as far as I can go,” Yanovsky said. “I have a huge passion for all sports and hope to work for a professional sports team one day.”
Source: Kalkaska Rhinos