10U (2009) AAA Coach Eric Olimb
Coach Olimb grew up in the north woods of Minnesota. He played high school hockey for Warroad High School alongside NHL superstar TJ Oshie. After winning the prestigious Minnesota high school state championship, he first came to Indy as a member of the Ice in the USHL from 2005-2007. While playing for the Ice, he received a scholarship to play for NCAA division 1 powerhouse University of Nebraska-Omaha. After 4 years on the varsity squad and leading WCHA defensemen in scoring during his senior season, he played professionally in the ECHL and in Norway's top league.
Upon retirement, Eric moved back to Indy, married his wife, and has been coaching youth hockey ever since.
Eric coached various Jr Ice teams including the U16's, and was the head coach of the '01 PW Major team that won the Central States playoff championship and competed in the legendary Quebec International Peewee tournament.
Congratulations to 18U AAA forward Bobby Pokupec on signing a letter of commitment for the 2021-2022 season with the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. The SJHL is a Junior A league that plays within their province in Western Canada.
The league boasted 65 college commitments during the 2019-2020 season. Notre Dame currently has 19 alumni playing and four coaching in the NHL including two of the last three Stanley Cup winners Jon Cooper and Barry Trotz. Notable NHL alumni include Vincent Lecvelier, Brad Richards, Rod Brind’Amour, Jordan Eberle, Scott Darling, Jaden Schwartz, Sean Couturier and current Jr Fuel coach Al Karlander.
The Hounds junior A team has been developing and promoting hockey talent to the NHL and NCAA since 1920. Their all time NHL draft list is over 130 players.
Pokupec, a Cincinnati, OH native, joined the IYHA with the Racers 16U AAA in 2018-2019 and has spent the last two seasons with Jr Fuel 18U AAA. This year he has racked up 16 points in 24 NAPHL league games.
Stay tuned for more IYHA Jr Fuel player promotion news as playoff season approaches!
The IYHA and Fuel Tank hosted the NAPHL January showcase over the weekend featuring seven teams ranked in the top 30 in the nation. Jr Fuel 14U, 15U, 16U, and 18U AAA skated on home ice in front of dozens of scouts and coaches looking for the next wave of talent for the NAHL and beyond.
Highlights from the weekend include Jr Fuel 18U AAA taking down #10 ranked Car Shield 5-2 and Chicago powerhouse Team Illinois in a shootout to wrap up the weekend’s action on Monday afternoon. 16U AAA took down Meijer 2-0 and 14U AAA trounced Des Moines 9-0 on Saturday.
The NAPHL currently has 75 alumni in NCAA Division 1 hockey and 160 at the NCAA Division 3 level. In 2020 30 players from the NAPHL committed to Division 1 schools while 159 are playing Tier 1 or Tier 2 junior hockey.
Congratulations to 14U Black and 14U Red for taking home Big Bear Brickyard Tournament Championships.
Congratulations to Jr Fuel players JJ Grainda (18U AAA) and Ty Boone (16U AAA) on huge honors for their performance so far this season.
18U AAA forward JJ Grainda has signed a tender with the Chippewa Steel of the NAHL. An NAHL tender agreement is a contract stating that the signed player’s NAHL rights belong to only that team for the upcoming season. It’s a way for teams to lock up players before the spring entry draft.
16U AAA player Ty Boone was named NAPHL Apex Peak Performer for his play in league games during the month of October. The Jr Fuel played nine league games during this time. Ty posted six goals and three assists for a total of 9 points leading the way to a recent weekend sweep of division rival Des Moines Bucs AAA.
Congratulations Ty and JJ! Keep up the great work!