From: Texas Tornado Website
The Texas Tornado announced that forward Justin Jones (5'11 180 lbs) has committed to the University of Denver, where he has accepted a scholarship to play for the Pioneers beginning this Fall.
“It is tough to put into words how excited I am,” said Jones. “I am very thankful to my family and the Texas Tornado for making this dream come true.”
In his first season with the Tornado, Jones played in 54 of the team’s 58 regular season games, scoring seven goals and adding 13 assists.
“I really feel like this past season was my best developmentally,” Jones said. “Coach (Curtale) did a great job of recognizing what type of player I was, focused on those skill sets and really taught me a lot about the mental aspect of the game. We had such good chemistry in the locker room and that played a big part in my success as well.”
Jones elevated his game during the 2010 Robertson Cup playoffs, as the 19-year-old forward was second in scoring with three points in five games.
“We are very happy for Justin and his family, and it is a testament to his work ethic and ability to be coached,” said Texas Tornado Head Coach and General Manager Tony Curtale. “Justin is an extremely good defensive forward and was one of the best skaters in the league. Both those assets will come in handy at the Division I collegiate level.”
Jones spent 1999 and 2000 in Denver while his dad, Popeye Jones, played in the NBA for the Denver Nuggets. He will be the first ever player in the 11-year history of the Texas Tornado to play for the University of Denver.
“I think Justin is going into a very nice situation at the University of Denver,” said Curtale. “He is familiar with the city and most importantly, he should be able to contribute from the start given his skill set.”
The University of Denver is one of the most storied programs in the history of NCAA hockey. Their seven NCAA National Championships rank second all-time to the University of Michigan’s nine. “Denver is a place I am familiar with so to be going back there to play college hockey for one of the most storied programs in the Nation… I couldn’t be happier.”
Since the creation of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in 1959, the Pioneers have won nine WCHA Regular Season Championships 14 WCHA Playoff Championships.
2010 Recruiting Class
F Jason Zucker (U.S. Under-18)
D David Makowski (Green Bay, USHL)
F Nick Shore (U.S. Under-18)
F Beau Bennett (Penticton, BCHL)
F Dan Olszewski (St. Louis, NAHL)
F Jarrod Mermis (Lincoln, USHL)
G Sam Brittain (Canmore, AJHL)
F Justin Jones (Texas, NAHL)
2011 Recruiting Class
D Scott Mayfield (Youngstown, USHL)
F Zac Larraza (U.S. Under-17)
F Garrett Allen (Fargo, USHL)
D Matt Van Voorhis (U.S. Under-17)
2012 Recruiting Class
F Tyler Pham (Team Illinios)
D Dakota Mermis (St. Louis Jr. Blues, AAA)
D Josiah Didier (Cedar Rapids, USHL)
F Daniel Doremus (Colorado Thunderbirds, AAA)