Trail Smoke Eaters forward Zach Michaelis will take his game to the next level for the 2022-23 season.
The 19-year-old Minnesota native committed to Northern Michigan University, and will join Smoke Eaters alumni Andre Ghantous, Mack Byers and Mike Colella on the Wildcats.
“Excited to sign my NLI (National Letter of Intent) to play college hockey next fall at Northern Michigan University,” Michaelis said in a release. “I’d like to thank my family, the Trail Smoke Eaters organization and the NMU coaches.”
Michaelis is a skilled forward and second on the Smoke Eaters in scoring with 18 goals and 30 points in 25 games, 18th in the league in points overall.
He earned BCHL First Star of the Month honour for December, as well as securing a spot on the BCHL All-Star game and Top Prospects matches, which were postponed due to COVID.
“The Smoke Eaters organization is excited for Zach and his family on his commitment to Northern Michigan,” said Smoke Eaters head coach and GM Tim Fragle. “Zach is a player who was recruited this off season and chose our program to help develop his overall game to help him prepare for college hockey.
“He has developed and performed at a high level thus far this season. We look for him to continue trending in the right direction for the remainder of the season. Congratulations to Zach and his family on this accomplishment.”
The Northern Michigan Wildcats play in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) of the NCAA Div. 1, and currently sit in fifth place with a 7-8-1 record.
The Smoke Eaters played the Vipers in Vernon on Wednesday, but the score was unavailable at press time. Trail hosts a three-game series versus the Prince George Spruce Kings this weekend with games going at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 6 p.m. on Sunday at the Trail Memorial Centre.