Jak Vaarwerk Drafted #1 Phase II USHL Draft!

Former Buffalo Jr. Sabres Forward Jak Vaarwerk was drafted #1 overall in the Phase II USHL Draft on May 3, 2022. Jak was drafted by Des Moines and is currently playing in the NAHL for Jamestown Rebels and having a terrfic season. Vaarwerk was named the NAHL East Division Rookie of the Year after posting 18 goals and 35 assists during the regular season. An East Amherst resident who is committed to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

Jak was a member of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres Organization from 14U-18U. At 14U, his team participated in Nationals, a year later at 15U, they won the New York State Championship and advanced to Nationals, he was a member of the 16U Team as well as the 18U Team and was the teams Captain. "Once I came to the Junior Sabres my 14U year, my whole perspective on hockey and my growth of hockey changed. I am grateful for how this organization has helped me become the player I am today. From Bill Loupe, Michael Peca, Ryan Zimmerman, Jake Brozyna, Tim Kennedy and Sean Wallace from my 14U to 18U years they all helped me get better at my game. This organization has made me create some of my best friendships to this day. I will always appreciate what they have done for me," Jak Vaarwerk said. 

"The Buffalo Jr. Sabres Organization has helped develop Jak into the hockey player he is today. The long hours spent at the facility on and off the ice, the organization was like a family to us which is why we are still personal friends with many today," Jamie Vaarwerk said who is the mother of Jak. 

"I couldn't be happier for Jak. Very early on, I could see his dedication to the game both on and off the ice which naturally led to him being a leader on our 18U team. Jak is a player who has not always had it easy in his career. He faced adversity early and often but continued to put the work in, and trust his abilities and himself. Des Moines is getting a very talented hockey player but an event better person," Sean Wallace said who was his head coach on the 18U team.