The reigning champions of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League have added a new goalie. Hockey News North has confirmed that the Hearst Lumberjacks have signed Sault Ste. Marie product Noah Zeppa.
Zeppa, who does not turn 17 years old until later this month, was the most valuable player in the Great North Midget Hockey League in 2018-2019 while playing for the Soo Thunderbirds (now known as the Soo Jr. Greyhounds.)
He was subsequently selected by the Soo Greyhounds in the second round of the 2019 Ontario Hockey League under-18 draft.
Zeppa began this 2019-2020 season with the Chatham Maroons of the Greater Ontario Jr. Hockey League. He posted a 1-3-0 record with a .897 save percentage and 4.10 goals against average with Chatham before being sidelined with a concussion.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound goalie recently requested — and received — his release from Chatham through advisor Kevin Cain of Cain Hockey Management.
In going to Hearst of the NOJHL, Zeppa will back up 2001 birth year starter Liam Oxner. The Lumberjacks are again an NOJHL contender this season with a record of 22-10-1.
Zeppa told Hockey News North that he has talked to Lumberjacks coach-general manager Marc Lafleur and is “really excited” about going to Hearst for the next chapter of his career.
“Everything I have heard about Coach Lafleur and the Hearst Lumberjacks organization has been awesome,” Zeppa relayed.