The 17-year-old Los Angeles native is headed back to warmer climes. Goalie Jett Salinas joined the Bighorns for the 2011-12 season and made a huge impact, even being named Goaltender of the Year by the AWHL. As a Bighorn, Salinas played 23 regular-season games, shutting out four of them. He also faced down the Missoula Maulers in the AWHL Championship series to help lead the Bighorns to a four game sweep. Furthermore, he played 90 minutes in two games at the 2012 Junior Nationals and only allowed one goal in that time.

Jett didn’t begin playing goalie until he was nine, when he felt drawn to the position and never looked back. He credits the support of his mother Dessica and his goal coach Tian for his success as a goalie. According to Jett, the most difficult part of being a goalie is the mental pressure, and his time with the Bighorns has helped him learn how to prepare to face that pressure. His motto over the course of the season has been, “no anxiety, no fear.”

Jett is grateful for the time he spent in Helena. One thing that stands out to him is how nice everyone has been to him, from the Bighorns staff to his Billet family. He is also grateful to head Coach Scott Cunningham as well as team owner Mike Butters for the opportunity to play for the Bighorns. The amount of ice time he received with the Bighorns really allowed him to develop his skills as an exceptional goalie.

The Corpus Christi Icerays are a Tier II junior hockey team that plays in the South Division of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). The Icerays’ head coach Justin Quenneville has had his eye on Salinas all season, asking Jett to join the team multiple times over the course of the season. Although Jett decided to stay with the Bighorns for the remainder of the season, he is excited for the opportunity to move up to such an outstanding organization and play for the Icerays for the 2012-13 season. He has heard many great things about a team that is known in the hockey world for moving players up to the next level, including Division I college hockey and the USHL. Jett sees the move to Corpus Christi as a great opportunity to improve his game and get valuable exposure (and to get back to the beach).

We’ll be sure to keep our eye on Jett as he continues to improve and move up. He’ll be back on the ice in August when he attends the Icerays’ main camp.