The New Jersey Titans are excited to announce that forward Jake LaRusso has signed a tender agreement with the team for the 2019-2020 season, and will be added to the roster for the remainder of this season.
LaRusso is a 16-year-old forward from Colts Neck, N.J. and started the year with the Titans 16U team of the Atlantic Youth Hockey League and East Coast Elite League. In 33 games this season, he recorded 30 goals and 12 assists for 42 points. LaRusso has played six games with the NAHL team so far and has an assist.
Assistant coach Bobby DiRico spoke about the young forward, who is already committed to Colorado College, and how his presence boosts the Titans’ offensive play.
“Jake has come in as an affiliate player from our 16U Titan team and has stepped in pretty well. He’s a younger player in our league but has shown his abilities with his skating and his shot, and has proven that he can succeed at this level,” DiRico said.
LaRusso spoke about the tender agreement and what it means for him to play in the NAHL in his home town.
“It’s truly an honor. Ever since the NAHL team came to New Jersey it has been a dream of mine to be there and to tender with the Titans. To be a part of the family we have here is one of a kind,” LaRusso said. “The knowledge, development and love I have received since joining made it a really easy choice to be a part of this great organization.”
He gave credit to the 16U team, coached by George Haviland, for preparing him to play at the junior level. LaRusso also praised the Titans’ Tier III affiliate New Jersey 87’s, led by his step-dad and head coach Adam Houli, after playing a few games in the Eastern Hockey League this year before moving up to the NAHL.
Playing in 16’s got me ready for the junior level and playing faster hockey. Each night you have to bring your best game or you will lose, so playing U16 really helped me adapt to the speed and style of the NAHL,” LaRusso added. “Also my coach George Haviland has helped me a ton, working endlessly with me and helping me reach all my goals. Same goes for my stepdad (Adam Houli), coach Matt (Kiernan) and the 87’s organization. Without those guys helping me everyday none of this would be possible.”
The Titans would like to congratulate Jake and his family on his accomplishment, as he continues to move up the ladder within the organization.