Jamestown, NY – Rebels forward Jak Vaarwerk has announced his collegiate commitment to play Division 1 hockey at UMass-Lowell beginning in the 2022-2023 season.
Vaarwerk, a native of East Amherst, NY, only a short drive from Jamestown, is in the midst of his first North American Hockey League campaign, where he currently sits second on the Rebels in points (19) and is leading the team in assists (15) through 23 games played thus far. Jak had a great feeling from his visit to UMass-Lowell, where the location tailored to his liking.
“The school overall just fit,” said Vaarwerk. “UMass-Lowell is in a great location – the city of Boston is beautiful. They fit what I want to study in college, the campus and facility is gorgeous, and it’s just a great spot that I wanted to be in.”
The compatibility of the River Hawks program from a hockey perspective also certainly peaked Jak’s interest, which was of high priority to him.
“The coaching staff of Coach Bazin and Coach Jones are incredible. Hockey East is one of, if not the best division in D1 hockey, so after watching (UMass) play some games, I realized that the way they play matches my play-style, and that I would fit great.”
Prior to joining the Rebels, Vaarwerk spent a large portion of his youth hockey career in the Buffalo Jr. Sabres program. Between 2017-2021, he compiled a combined total of 47 goals and 77 assists, good for 124 points, in 127 games across four seasons at the AAA 14U, 15U, 16U, and 18U levels, according the Elite Prospects.
Rebels Head Coach Joe Coombs had high praise for Vaarwerk as well. “Jak is one of the best players I have ever had the pleasure of coaching,” said Coombs. “Jak’s best days are still to come, and I look forward to being a part of it and seeing just how far he can take his skill set. UMass is getting a great player but also a great person and leader.”
Catch Vaarwerk and the Rebels on home ice next on December 17 and 18 when they host the Northeast Generals.