By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com
It’s the upstate New York connection that just keeps paying dividends for the Richmond Generals. Both of the Premier team’s goaltenders came out of the region, as did forward Jack McCandless.
And all three are bound for NCAA ice hockey careers. Jadon Lee, a 2002-born native of Fulton, N.Y., is moving on to Lebanon Valley College after three years with the Generals. He helped the USPHL Elite Gens win the 2022 National Championship at that level, and then helped this year’s Premier Generals reach the Premier National semifinals. He’s made for high stakes hockey, and he’ll see plenty of that in the NCAA.
“Lebanon valley came into the picture around the postseason and Nationals, after one of Lebanon’s goalies decided to transfer,” said Lee, who is hoping to major in business with a focus on accounting. “At Nationals, Coach Parsons said he liked how I track pucks well, I am controlled, and I am always in good position to stop pucks. Academically, it was an obvious choice as it is a great business school with lots of connections to great internships and jobs after graduation. For the hockey side of things I really liked the culture that they have there and the strong coaching staff and facilities.”
Lee went 3-1-0-0 with a .956 save percentage and a 1.50 goals against average during the postseason, including a 32-save shutout against an offensively potent Utah Outliers team. For the regular season, Lee went 16-6-0-0, with a .933 save percentage and a 2.22 goals against average, both good for the Premier Top 10.
He’s very glad he made the move south and east back in 2020-21 to join the Generals.
“The Richmond generals are a top Tier 3 program in development and advancement. The coaching staff does a good job prioritizing development which leads to their great winning success,” said Lee. “GM/Coach R.C. Lyke is one of the best in the business and has amazing connections to move guys on wherever they want to go. But overall, the Gens create good young men and always has an unreal group of guys.”
Lee’s junior career save percentage is a shining .923 between Elite and Premier regular seasons, and goes up to .946 for his postseason performances. He chalks it all up to the Generals, and particularly Coach Lyke and Goaltending Coach Tom Hasenzahl.
“The Generals goaltending development model has truly made me the goalie I am today to give me the opportunity to play college hockey. Coach Lyke my rookie year gave me a game plan of how I was going to develop to get to my goal of playing NCAA hockey. R.C. pushed me and knew how to keep me on my toes everyday in practice and games to ensure I stay on this path of development,” he said.
“A big thanks to Tom Hasenzahl, my goalie coach the past three years. ‘Haz’ truly helped me craft my game and become the goalie I am today. Mentally, psychically, and emotionally, he mentored me in every aspect of goaltending that led to my success, including a national championship in my career and then achieving my main goal of playing NCAA hockey,” Lee added. “I cannot thank him enough for developing me into being a better goalie and overall a better man.”
In the 2022 Elite National Championship game, he stopped 44 of 48 shots in a game where 13 goals were scored and offense seemed to fly out the window quickly.
“The 2022 Elite National Championship run helped me gain a new level of intensity and gave me the experience to know how to win big games as a goalie,” Lee said. “It also prepared me to take the next step at the Premier level this year.”
He loved being able to take the time and move up the ranks, all within Richmond and all within the USPHL.
“Since I have been in the league, the USPHL has always done a great job of getting guys their looks,” said Lee. “Especially at the big showcases where countless amounts of NCAA Division III and ACHA coaches go watch. The Premier Southeast Division is by far the best division in the USPHL. The competition and intensity every game prepares you to take the next step at the college level wherever you go.”
Where he is going is the lush, picturesque Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa., where he hopes to help Coach Parsons build towards making the Dutchmen a winning program throughout its promising future.
“I really liked the campus, it was super nice. It is a small school but it makes the school atmosphere good as everyone is involved and active in the school and sports community. What made me decide to make the final commitment was seeing how nice the school and sports facilities were, as well as all the opportunities that come in the business world after school,” Lee said. “Talking to the coaching staff and guys on the team also was a huge factor because everything made sense and made me feel welcomed right away.”
It’s going to take some work to be ready to stop NCAA shots and Lee knows this full well. His calendar is full of training over the spring and summer.
“This off-season I am going to continue to work on getting bigger and stronger,” he added, “as well as working on my craft and skills on the ice to be able to make that jump to make an impact in NCAA hockey next year.”
The USPHL congratulates Jadon Lee, his family, the Richmond Generals and Lebanon Valley Colelge for his commitment.