The Milwaukee Power have traded their first Captain in team history, Jake Berry, to the Bismarck Bobcats of the NAHL for future considerations. This will make Berry the first Power player to play in a NAHL game after wearing Milwaukee’s black and red.
“Jake has been a big part of what we have done here in Milwaukee in our inaugural season. He’s been our leader in the locker room by showing our guys what it takes to be a top player in the NA3 and now he’s blazing a trail up the mountain of Junior hockey for our team by being the first Power player to play in a NAHL game and we couldn’t be more proud of him,” said Chase Ernst, President of Hockey Operations.
Berry, in his last year of Junior eligibility, has been lighting up the score sheet as one of the NA3’s top defensemen posting 13 goals and 51 assists in just 31 games smashing his previous season best of 3 goals and 43 assists in 45 games. He now has the opportunity to showcase his abilities at the next level against better competition and in front of more scouts in pursuit of playing high level college hockey.
“He’s a good puck moving defenseman that can add offense, at every level of Junior he’s played he’s been able to produce, and our hopes are that he can come in and help us make a good deep playoff push. He’s done a nice job in practice up to this point and we’re excited about getting him in our lineup to see what he can do at our level,” said Garrett Roth, the Bobcats Assistant Coach. “Our hope in calling Jake up is that he does one heck of a job and solidifies a spot on our roster as we are looking to add a defenseman that can help us shore up our defensive zone and win games down the stretch.”
Bismarck is currently tied for fourth in the NAHL's Central Division with 27 games remaining and only four playoff spots up for grabs.
“It’s definitely an honor being recognized at the next level and I’m excited for the opportunity that the Bobcats have given me. All the guys have been super nice and welcoming which makes it a lot easier to just go out there and play my game,” said Berry.
After starting out his Junior career in Texas, with the Brahmas of the NA3HL, Berry played last season in two different Canadian leagues before coming back to play in his hometown this season. “This is the reason we put a Junior team here in Milwaukee, to give these young men the chance to play great hockey without having to move halfway across the country,” said Ernst.
The Power now have the tough task of potentially finishing out the season without one of their anchors on defense, the main driver of their power play, and their Captain. “It was tough leaving the team in my hometown of Milwaukee, but I can’t pass up the opportunity at this level. I wish them all the best if I end up staying here in Bismarck,” said Berry. In the meantime, Logan Geisness has been promoted to wear the Captain “C” for the Power and led Milwaukee to a 5-2 victory last night over the Wisconsin Whalers to snap a five-game losing streak.
“It was a good feeling to get back on the right track with a win last night and whether or not Jake comes back we need to keep taking care of business to make it into the playoffs. The whole team is pulling for him to make it in Bismarck and we wish him good luck,” said Geisness.
The Power will be back in action next weekend on the road against the Whalers looking for win number 24 and another step closer to clinching a playoff berth.