SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Zachary Simon has become one of the most valuable forwards on the North Iowa Bulls’ roster, despite having never played a full season of junior hockey. As he prepares to graduate from Orono High School in Minnesota, he’ll head east to the Land of Lincoln for his first full-season shot at the sport. Simon has signed a North American Hockey League tender agreement with the Springfield Jr. Blues, adding to an ever-growing list of Bulls to ink a Tier II tender.
The Orono native spent three years on the Spartans’ varsity roster, serving among the team’s captains during the past two seasons. His high school stat line includes almost 150 points during those three years, including 70 goals and a 2018 Minnesota state title. His 66 points this past year was just shy of a top-10 mark across all high school players in Minnesota.
He notched just four points in 14 games last season with the Bulls, but ramped it up with 16 points in 19 games this year. A six-goal, six-assist stint prior to the Minnesota high school season led to a brief call-up to the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League in early November, where he scored the eventual game-winner against Shreveport in his NAHL debut.
“He’s a guy that you wish you had the entire year,” said North Iowa head coach Todd Sanden. “Simon has a compete level that far surpasses his size and stature. He comes out of the corners with pucks, against guys much bigger, much older and much stronger than him. He refuses to lose wall battles, and has a pretty good gift around the net as well.”
Simon is one of nearly 50 North Iowa players to suit up for an NAHL team after donning a Bulls sweater. One of those players, Aaron Swanson, finished the 2017-18 season with the Bulls before spending the second half of last season and the first half of this season with the Jr. Blues. Springfield finished this season in sixth place in the NAHL’s Midwest Division.
The North Iowa Bulls congratulate Zachary Simon on his tender agreement with the NAHL’s Springfield Jr. Blues, and wish him the best as he takes the next step in his junior hockey career.