Springfield forward Panisa makes NCAA commitment
The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that Top Prospects forward Jonathan Panisa has committed to play NCAA Division III hockey for St. Olaf College.
Panisa, a native of Irvine, CA, spent parts of three seasons here in Springfield and was a pivotal component of Springfield’s return to play for the 2021-22 season. He is a two-time draft pick of the Jr. Blues, being selected with #10 pick in 2018 and then as the #6 pick in 2021.
During the 2021-22 season, the smooth skating forward put up 9 goals and 17 assists in 34 games en route to his second Top Prospects Tournament selection. He also played in the event during the 2019-20 season.
“JP is an electric player who has all the potential in the world,” said Head Coach Tyler Rennette. “He’s an even better young man that we have enjoyed seeing grow these last few seasons and we are excited for his opportunity at St. Olaf.”
For his time in Springfield, JP appeared in 81 games and recorded 23 goals and 39 assists for 62 total points, two ahead of former teammates Caden Villegas and Carson Jones (60).
He provided several notable highlight reel moments during his time here, but it’ll be hard to imagine any moment standing out more than his two-goal performance this past December against Kenai River. Down late in the game for the second night in a row, JP took control and scored not only the game-tying goal shorthanded, but buried a wicked wrister :27 into overtime to seal the come from behind victory.
Panisa becomes the 11th player from the 2021-22 Jr. Blues roster to commit to a NCAA program. He joins Fisher Scott (Colorado College), Michael Valdez (Colorado College), Connor Smith (Union College), Hagen Moe (Bowling Green), Joey Dosan (Army-West Point), Ethan Roberts (St. Thomas), Mac Gadowsky (Army-West Point), Tristan Shewchuk (St. Scholastica), Daniel Juzych (Colby College), and Cole Dubicki (Tufts University).