The upcoming 2018-19 season will be the Janesville Jets’ 10th year in town.
On Monday, the North American Hockey League team announced new jersey designs for next season. The jerseys honor the history of the team and the fans that helped make it possible.
The design was handpicked by fans of the team. Fans voted to choose between four different designs on this year’s jerseys.
“When we first put the team there 10 years ago we let the fans pick the name of the team. We wanted to give them the choice (of the jerseys) because this really is their team,” said Jets president Bill McCoshen.
Both jerseys feature three stripes on the arms and bottom. The blue jersey will keep the current logo, while the white jersey will pay homage to the original logo the team had 10 years ago. The jersey’s logo features a hockey stick serving as the J in both “Janesville” and “Jets”.
McCoshen said the team is excited for the new designs.
“We are trying to celebrate our roots, and that includes our fans being a big part of our team,” he said.
McCoshen recalled this past spring’s playoff series against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, saying it reminded him how much the fans mean to the team.
“In that playoff game against Fairbanks we were at capacity for fans, and there is nothing better for a junior hockey player than that,” McCoshen said. “We take great pride in the slogan ‘Your town, your team,’ and we want to keep that going.”
Jets head coach Gary Shuchuk was happy the fans got to pick this season’s uniforms.
“This is their team, and we wanted to include them,” he said.
Shuchuk and the Jets will hope that support from the fans continues as they prepare for this season.
The Jets posted a 38-13-9 record last year, had 11 NCAA Division I commits on the roster and featured the team’s first-ever league most valuable player in Jakov Novak, who was drafted in the seventh round of the 2018 NHL Draft by the Ottawa Senators.
The team wrapped up its main camp Monday. The Jets open their season against Kenai River on Sept. 14 at home.
“It means a lot to the boys when they come out of the locker room and the fans are full and they have beer pyramids stacked high for the guys to jump into,” Shuchuk said. “It’s a great community and we try to give back as much as we can. We are not taking this community for granted and we really appreciate Janesville.”