North Iowa defenseman Sofo signs NAHL tender
The North Iowa Bulls, proud members of the North American 3 Hockey League, are excited to announce that defenseman Jase Sofo has signed a North American Hockey League tender with the Amarillo Bulls. He becomes the 41st player in North Iowa history to sign an NAHL tender, the seventh all-time to tender with Amarillo, and the third Bull to tender with an NAHL team this season.
The Sylvania, Ohio native started the season with four games on the Amarillo roster, before driving 920 miles to Mason City and catching up with the team just ahead of its first action of the new year on January 16 at Alexandria.
"He's another very solid defenseman that allows us to play the way we want to play," said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden. "We even have to coach him down a little bit, he's so confident in his offensive abilities. He's been a great addition. We're very excited to have him here."
Sofo made an immediate impact in Amarillo, making his junior debut on November 7 at the Odessa Jackalopes. He would announce his presence with two assists in a 6-2 victory, including an assist on the game's first goal just 4:24 out of the gate. A week later, he added another assist on a pivotal power play goal in the third period of a 5-3 loss to the Lone Star Brahmas.
“Jase is a special player with a lot of intangibles," said Amarillo head coach Rocky Russo. "He skates very well, sees the ice and defends hard. We felt it was in his best interest to take advantage of our developmental model with North Iowa and play a bigger role before returning to us next season. We expect him to be very impactful in the NA3HL, and we know Coach Sanden and his staff will have him very well prepared to rejoin us in Amarillo next year.”
Sofo has made himself right at home in North Iowa as well, with three assists over his first five games. His first assist came on January 17, a shot from the right point that became the primary assist on Shota Kaneko's eventual game-winner. He was one of 10 players to notch multiple points in Friday's 10-2 win over the New Ulm Steel. His appearance on the Bulls' roster helped to bolster the blue line on a team that has been heavy on the forward lines throughout the season.
"We're super excited about Jase Sofo entering our group," said Sanden. "We were sitting at six defensemen before he came here, and with his skating ability, he fits right into our group. He has a knack for the offensive side of the game, too, and that fits our game style. We're looking forward to having him help us go on a championship run here in 2021."
Sofo's resume prior to joining the Bulls family reads like a who's who of top developmental programs in the Detroit area, logging time with the Belle Tire, Compuware and Honeybaked programs over the last several years.
A tender is a contract, of sorts, a player signs announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Each team is granted ten (10) tenders, which includes one tender exclusively used on players from the NA3HL - plus or minus any trades - which became active on Nov. 1. Tendered players are not eligible for the 2021 NAHL Draft.