HARTLAND, MI - It wasn't a tough decision at all for Jacob Henrikson to play for the Hartland Hounds this season.
After all, the 19-year-old Howell native and tough forward had already played for Hounds' coach Randy Montrose at Howell High School and helped the Highlanders to the state finals in 2009 and 2010.
Now, Henrikson wants to see some of the Howell magic duplicated in the Midwest Junior Hockey League.
"To come and play in Hartland, it really came up by Randy talking to me seeing if I wanted to play," Henrikson said. "Of course, I said 'yes.'"
"Jake is one of those kids that makes plays happen," said Montrose. "He's a horse and it's hard to take him off the ice because things tend to happen when he's out there. He's got good hands for a big man (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) and can really fire the puck. Jake will play in all situations and is one of those players as a coach that you want out there in the final minute of a close game. He'll also bring an element of leadership to our team."
In the 2010 state semifinals against Traverse City West, Henrikson's goal gave Howell a 2-0 lead and helped the Highlanders advance to the state championship game.
"That was certainly a highlight of my career," said Henrikson. "Making it to state finals and playing in front of 6,500 people was plain awesome."
Last season, Henrikson ventured across the border and played for the Leamington Flyers of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League where he put up seven goals and 13 points in 38 games.
With a year of junior experience under his belt, Henrikson wants his final season of junior eligibility to be his best.
"I think playing for Randy will make it easier on helping teach the new guys the systems we run," Henrikson said. "My personal goal is to play well enough to where I can hopefully go to a college of my choice and play hockey. On a team level, I think we can take first place and win a national championship.
"This team has a lot of confidence right now."