The Nanaimo Clippers have signed 2002 born forward Max Itagaki from the Janesville Jets of the North American Hockey League. Over two seasons in the NAHL, Max contributed 43 points, including 15 goals, over 73 games. Max had previous stints in the USHL and played in the US National Development Program.
He hails from Illinois where he grew up playing in the prestigious Chicago Mission youth hockey program, the same program that ex-Clipper and current NCAA standout, Robbie Drazner, developed in. Max is committed to the RPI program in the NCAA Division 1 for the 2022-2023 season.
Darren Naylor, Head Coach and GM, offered his comments on Itagaki; “Max is a highly skilled playmaker who sees the ice well. He has a high hockey IQ and competes hard. I’m excited to bring Max into the program because I anticipate he will be a top six forward that will contribute to the power-play.”
Wes Mussio, Owner and President of the Clippers; “With it looking almost certain that the US/Canada border will be opened in the coming months, our scouting is focusing on bringing in up to six high-level US recruits to bolster our already strong lineup. Max is a key contribution to our program because, at times last season, our power play was very anemic. He’s a power-play specialist and should definitely contribute at the BCHL level before he heads off to the NCAA next year. With the addition of Max, our roster is becoming more solidified as we head into the season but we still have a lot of work to do given the limits on scouting due to health order restrictions.”
Listen to Clippers’ play-by-play broadcaster Dan Marshall’s interview with Max: Max Itagaki interview.