MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – After the annual IIHF World Junior Championship ends each year the first week of January, smaller versions of the event take place in the weeks after.
This year, Metro Jets forward Yarne Vaerewyck is playing for his native Belgium in the Division II, Group B segment of the tournament being held in Iceland.
“I think it’s a nice accomplishment to add to the books, and I think it’s definitely an experience to learn from in multiple ways,” said Vaerewyck. “It’s also a hockey tournament, so it’s fun.”
“This is a great opportunity for Yarne and well deserved,” added Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville. “Any time you get to represent your country, it’s an honor. We are proud of him and wish him luck. He will be missed this weekend, but look forward to getting him back on the ice with the team here.”
The tournament started Jan. 16 and wraps Jan. 22, “hopefully with a medal,” Vaerewyck said.
“I’ve learned that it’s good not to have expectations and to just go with the flow since you can’t get disappointed that way,” said Vaerewyck.
This season with the Jets, the 19-year-old Vaerewyck has tallied 14 goals and 12 assists for 26 points in 28 games.
“I’m looking forward to be back with the guys and the organization,” Vaerewyck said. “They’ve been nothing but good to me so I can’t wait to reunite and to get ready for some big upcoming games and to have a strong season with the boys here.”
This weekend, the Jets play a home-and-home with Columbus, starting Friday at the OhioHealth Chiller North at 8:30 p.m. and finishing Saturday at Mount Clemens at 4:30 p.m. The MJDP hosts the Chicago Crush for two games at Mount Clemens, opening Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. and wrapping Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
All USPHL games are available on HockeyTV.com.
Photos by Hadlee Meier