Congratulations to Carmel native and Jr Fuel 18U AAA alum JJ Grainda on scoring two goals in his first NAHL game! Grainda made his junior hockey debut last night for the Chippewa Steel against the Kenai River Brown Bears in the Steel home opener. The NAHL rookie added an assist to make it a three point night and earn 1st Star of the Game in the Steel’s 5-1 victory.
JJ played the 2020-2021 season for the IYHA Jr Fuel 18U AAA and was tendered by the Steel midway through his final season of youth hockey.
Congrats to JJ and the Grainda family on a tremendous start to your junior hockey career!
The United States Hockey League is the only Tier 1 junior league in the country and boasts a 95% promotion rate to NCAA Division 1 hockey.
Grainda is the first local player drafted into the nation’s top junior league directly out of the IYHA or any other locally based team in over 10 years. The youngest of four hockey playing brothers, he started skating at the age of four at the Carmel Ice Skadium. JJ played through every iteration of local travel hockey including the Jr Ice, Strong, Racers and now Jr Fuel 18U AAA.
The 6’4” Carmel native scored 20 goals and 20 assists for 40 points in the regular season and had a tremendous NAPHL playoff with 4 goals and 6 points in only 3 games.
Grainda was tendered early in the season by the Chippewa Steel of the NAHL and spent the last month with the team battling for a spot on the ‘21-’22 roster.
Congratulations to JJ and the Grainda family for being a trailblazer for local players moving on the hockey’s highest levels while staying home and representing Indy hockey!
Grant Hutton (Carmel), a featured Hero in 2019, was just called up to the New York Islanders! Grant was the captain of the Miami University NCAA D-1 club when he graduated in 2019. Upon graduation, he signed with the Islanders and had a tremendous rookie season last year in Bridgeport of the AHL, scoring 21 points in 55 games as a defenseman. Grant is currently on the Islanders taxi squad awaiting the call for his first game in the SHOW! Keep an eye on their lineup in the coming weeks to make sure you don’t miss his first NHL game!
Jackson Pierson (Zionsville) was recently named a finalist for the Walter Brown Award. The award is presented annually to the top American born NCAA D-1 hockey player in New England. Jackson is finishing up his junior year at the University of New Hampshire and led the team in scoring, racking up 25 points in 23 games for the Wildcats. Pierson joined us for Hometown Heroes in the first edition in 2018.
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