Sault Ste Marie, Ontario native Nolan Makkonen has signed with the Ontario Hockey League Guelph Storm. The 1999 February born defenseman started the 2016 – 2017 Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League season with he Soo Eagles.
The 6’0” and 185 lbs bluleiner was drafted in the ninth round with the thirteen overall selection. Makkonen saw action in the spring of the 2016 at the Central Region Championships with the Soo Thunderbirds of the NOJHL. Appearing in one game in Kirkland Lake, Makkonen had one assist.
The Sault Ste Marie native had one goal and three assists in 34 regular season games as of January 8th with the NOJHL Soo Eagles. In 34 regular season games in 2016 – 2017, Nolan had 24 minutes in the penalties. During the 2015 – 2016 season with the Soo AAA Midget Thunderbirds, Makkonen had 5 goals and 14 assists along with tallying 52 minutes in penalties.
Storm general manager Mike Kelly told Saultsports.com that “our trade of Noah Carroll to the Greyhounds on January 6th opened up an opportunity for Nolan. He had strong training camp with us, and followed that up with a very good season with the Soo Eagles. He has earned the opportunity with the Storm.
“Soo Eagles are extremely proud of Nolan’s accomplishment. He is certainly well deserving of the opportunity. Nolan will bring his defence first approach to Guelph. He is physically ready for the step, is a solid skater with good decision making instincts and an OHL ready shot. I believe he will make a very solid OHL defenceman. More importantly he will be a tremendous team first guy. Soo Eagles wish Nolan all the best as he pursues his dream” said Eagle coach Jim Capy.
“I want to thank the Guelph Storm, Mike Kelly and local scout Jim Mancuso for giving me the opportunity to play for a 1st class organization. I would also like to thank Bruno Bragagnolo, Jim Capy and the entire Soo Eagles organization for helping me get to the OHL. To the Storm I will bring a strong work ethic, team first attitude and do whatever it takes to help make the team successful” said Makkonen.