Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that four current players and two former players have been selected to participate in the 2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament in Attleboro, Massachusetts next month.
We will start with the NAHL Selects Red roster which will include Caden Villegas, Jonathan Panisa, and Leo Bacallao. Villegas, a native of Plano, TX, has recorded 32 points on 12 goals and 20 assists this season, as he has appeared in all 41 games for the Jr. Blues. The Union College commit is currently in his second campaign here in Springfield and leads the team in points, goals, assists, power play goals (5) and power play assists (9).
Jonathan Panisa is in his second season with the Jr. Blues, having split time last season between here and Central Illinois (USHL, now defunct). The Irvine, CA native began this season with the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) before returning to Springfield in early November, picking up where he left off in 2018-19. The UMass-Amherst commit has appeared in 27 games and has contributed 8 goals and 15 assists in that time and is currently tied for 2nd in points on the team.
Leo Bacallao is a newcomer to Springfield this season, having arrived by way of Janesville in mid-November. The Madison, WI native began this season playing for the Jets where he appeared in 13 games and had 1 goal and 3 assists. Since joining the Jr. Blues, Bacallao has scored 7 goals and 6 assists in 16 games. Leo is not yet committed to any NCAA program.
Turning our attention to the NAHL Midwest Division team, Jackson Salt, Max Osborne, and Aaron Swanson have all been named for next month’s tournament. Salt currently plays for the Jr. Blues, while Osborne (Kenai River) and Swanson (Maryland) are no longer with the team.
Salt, a native of Okatoks, BC, Canada, has appeared in 22 games for the Jr. Blues, having been injured in November that caused him to miss a portion of the season. He has 2 goals and 7 assists including 1 power play goal. Salt spent last season playing for the Calgary Mustangs (AJHL) and is not yet committed to any NCAA program.
Osborne appeared in 37 games for the Jr. Blues this season, compiling 4 goals and 11 assists in his third season in Springfield. He now plays for the Kenai River Brown Bears where he has played 5 games and has yet to record a point. Osborne is not yet committed to any NCAA program.
Swanson, named Captain of the Jr. Blues during training camp, played 31 games for Springfield and tallied 21 points on 11 goals and 10 assists. He is now playing for the Maryland Black Bears where he will be debuting this weekend. Swanson is not yet committed to any NCAA program.
The Top Prospects Tournament will commence on February 17th & 18th at the New England Sports Village in Attleboro, MA. Each division will field a team, and two teams will be created of players who have been selected by NHL central scouting as players of interest. Each team will play two games with the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of NCAA, USHL, and NHL scouts, as well as getting the experience of representing their team and division. All games can be seen live on HockeyTV as the schedule is listed here on the NAHL website.