The Texas Tornado, proud members of the North American Hockey League, are pleased to announce that forward Jack Prince has made a commitment to play Division-I hockey at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, beginning next season.
“Being able to play hockey in college means the world to me,” Prince said.” “It’s been my main goal ever since I came to the States five years ago, and I’m glad to see that my hard work has paid off.”
Prince, a native of the United Kingdom, is coming off of a three-year junior hockey career in Frisco, one which ended in style with a Robertson Cup championship just two weeks ago. While the team accolades are ones which he is most proud of, Prince also achieved plenty individually. His 188 regular-season points give him the all-time franchise record while he ends his junior career with an even 100 assists, three ahead of Brad Cooper, the former Tornado record-holder in that category. In fact, he set both records after a game in which he assisted on all three Tornado goals in a 3-1 victory over the Corpus Christi IceRays on the final weekend of the regular season.
“Jack was a dominant player in the league and was a great ambassador of hockey in the three years he was here,” Texas Tornado head coach and general manager Tony Curtale said. “We’re certainly excited for him and I think he’ll do great in college.”
Prince, 21, began his Tornado career in 2009-2010 after playing his midget hockey with Little Caesars in Michigan. He increased his point total every year he was in a Tornado uniform, netting 50 points in his rookie season followed by a 60-point output in 2010-2011. Prince was named an assistant captain before that season started and his point total gave him the most on the team. His 78 points in 2011-2012 led the team in again, but this time while wearing the captain’s “C”. The NAHL recognized Prince's leadership qualities, as well, naming him the Mark Messier Leadership Award-winner at the end of the season. While his skills have certainly improved throughout the course of his junior hockey career, Prince gives credit to the Tornado coaching staff for at least part of his success.
“Tony teaches and coaches a certain way. Each player not only develops skills, but hockey sense, as well,” Prince said. He says, ‘If you’re learning the game, you’ll always be able to improve your game.' That’s helped me immensely.”
On Curtale’s end, the admiration is mutual.
“Jack is one of the best players to ever put on the Tornado uniform,” Curtale said. “He deserves to have his name up there with the all-time greats.”
Prince will begin etching out a new career with Alabama-Huntsville, the lone independent Division-I Hockey program in the country, when he begins play there next season.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)