NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX — As the top team in the NAHL South Division, the Lone Star Brahmas are sending five players — four forwards and one defenseman — to Team South and two players to the NAHL Selects.
Brahmas Captain and steady defenseman John Zimmerman rounds out the group of Lone Star skaters headed to Michigan to play for Team South. He is the lone defenseman of the group, as the other four (Austin Kamer, Carson Kelley, Hunter Stanley, and Troy York) are forwards.
“It’s a huge honor to be chosen,” Zimmerman said. “It’s nice to be going and to have the chance to represent the Brahmas as well as we can.”
Zimmerman’s selection to the team comes as no surprise. With one goal and 30 assists on the season, he leads Brahmas defenseman in points. He is also second in the league in assists, trailing only Shreveport’s Croix Evingson, who will be playing in the tournament on the NAHL Selects squad.
Zimmerman is one of the Brahmas’ most versatile defenseman, with good vision and a knack for finding teammates on the ice, especially on the power play. He is second in the league in power play assists and fifth overall in power play points.
Head Coach Dan Wildfong also utilizes Zimmerman on the Brahmas penalty kill, which has consistently been in the NAHL’s top three all season. Zimmerman is trusted in any and all situations, and that trust is earned, not given.
“Zimm made a huge step from last year to this year,” Wildfong said. “Obviously we had a pretty good power play unit thanks to him. I thought Zimm was also one of our best defensive players all of last year and now he really made that transition to an all-around player. He can play first unit power play, he can defend, he just does everything really well.”
With scouts from NCAA programs and NHL teams in attendance at the Top Prospects Tournament, Wildfong is confident that his captain will play the solid, well-rounded game that everyone has come to expect from Zimmerman. “He’s for sure a division one guy, it’s just a matter of time,” Wildfong said.
Zimmerman himself is aware of the opportunities the tournament provides as well, but was quick to deflect attention to his teammates. “It’s huge being in first place at the beginning of February so that you have the opportunity to send the most guys, and we did that,” he said. “Can’t thank our teammates enough for helping us get as many guys there as we can. It all goes to them, and obviously we’ll try to do them proud up there.”
Catch Zimmerman, Wildfong, and the rest of Team South playing on Monday, February 27th and Tuesday, February 28th. All Top Prospects Tournament games will be streamed on Hockey TV.