Odessa, TX – The Odessa Jackalopes of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are proud to announce that forward, Evan Somoza, has committed to playing college hockey for Utica College, beginning in the 2018-2019 season. Utica College is a Division III hockey program, and members of the United Collegiate Hockey Conference.
“I had a really good connection with Coach Heenan from the beginning,” says Somoza. “Utica also has high academic standards and the smaller class settings brings a more personal attention to my academic progress.”
Somoza, 20, has had an outstanding season to this point, leading the Jacks in all three major categories with 15 goals and 31 assists for 46 points.
“We’re very happy for Evan,” says head coach Greg Gatto. “It’s a extremely well deserved commitment. He’s a great player who knows how to win. Somoza’s going to great program that will help him advance his career both on and off the ice”.
The native of Simi Valley, CA joined the Jackalopes roster this season. Before coming to Odessa, Somoza started out with the California Titans, breaking into the NAHL two years ago with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. Somoza won a Robertson Cup championship with Fairbanks in 2015-16, but was traded to the Northeast Generals before last season. Midway through last year, Somoza was traded to the Johnstown Tomahawks for their playoff run down the stretch.
Standing at 6-foot-0, weighing in at 170-pounds, Somoza’s game has soared to new heights when he joined the combination of Peyton Frantti and Ricky Carballo. Somoza has the ability to play center, but has thrived more on the wing.
“There is definitely some relief now knowing I have somewhere to play next year,” explains Somoza. “Now I can just play my game and focus on finishing this season on a strong note”.
Somoza is approaching his 150th career game, and should surpass the mark on March 2nd when the team heads to Corpus Christi to take on the IceRays. Over his first 147 games, Somoza has accumulated 37 goals and 59 assists for a total of 96 points.
Somoza will be the second Jackalope to enter Utica College, following Tyler Pietrowski who currently dons Pioneers’ navy and orange after committing last season.
Make sure to watch Evan and the Jackalopes take on the Shreveport Mudbugs February 16 & 17. If you can’t make it out to the games, be sure to listen to the games unfold on Classic Rock 102.
Be sure to follow the Jackalopes on Twitter and Facebook (@LetsGoJacks), Instagram (odessajackalopes), and add us on Snapchat (odessajacks) all year long.
— ODESSA JACKALOPES —