Thomas Milic’s first season in professional hockey has seen him go back and forth between the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals and the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. The 20-year-old who already has a World Junior gold medal, WHL championship and WHL Goaltender of the Year on his resume, added an ECHL All-Star appearance this January.

“Yeah, it’s been an exciting challenge for me. I’m fortunate to have both of those spots in the ECHL and the AHL here with Manitoba, great places to be,” said Milic from his home in Winnipeg.

“You know I’ve heard that from guys who play on both those teams in prior years. Very fortunate to have both those options where I’ve had great experiences so far.”

Milic who is 6-5-1 with a 2.95 goals against average and .897 save percentage with the Moose and is 11-3-2 with 2.45 goals against average and a 908 save percentage with the Admirals is adapting to the pro game after three full campaigns in the WHL.

“The majority of those guys in both leagues are grown men. In junior, guys are anywhere from 16 to 20 years old. Everyone’s bigger here, everyone’s stronger, everyone can shoot,” said Milic.

“You just have to battle a lot harder; a lot of team’s are big on trying to crash the net and play a lot more physical game and get in front of my eyes as a goaltender. So just trying to battle through a screen, battle for rebounds, loose pucks. You know that’s been contributing to my success so far this season.”

The New Westminster product says he is taking in everything this season with an open mind and is taking in as much information as possible from Drew MacIntyre. MacIntyre took over as the Jets organizations developmental goaltending coach and scout.

“He’s been incredible for me so far. You know we have a great relationship. He’s been a mentor for me as well,” said Milic.

“He’s a great guy that I can talk to about anything. Especially with hockey related things, fresh off of a great pro career. He’s very good at pointing out the technical things that I can work on and also being there as someone, I can talk to.”

Milic has been through the grind of the WHL playoffs, and a Memorial Cup run in junior is now fully in a battle for playoff positioning with the Moose. The top five teams in the Central will make it to the postseason and the Moose put themselves in a good spot after sweeping Texas this past weekend.

“It’s an exciting time for sure. We have a pretty good opportunity to grab onto one of those spots to make the playoffs,” said Milic.

“You know we are very motivated after a good stretch of three games. You can sort of feel it in the air, I guess. Times are changing and playoffs are coming up, exciting times.”

Milic’s junior team, the Seattle Thunderbirds and their fans continue to follow his career, they seem to be everywhere on social media, cheering him on and for that he is grateful.

“Right from day one in Seattle they’ve been incredible. Players always say, ‘we have the best fans in the league’ and I truly mean that in Seattle. They have been incredible to me,” said Milic.

“They still continue to support non-stop so pretty special to have played a few years with an incredible organization with fans like that, you can even see it carry over to the Moose here.”


The Jets AHL affiliate will be in Milwaukee Wednesday night to kick off a six-game road trip but go there riding a three-game winning streak and have scored 17 goals in those three contests.  The Moose swept division rival Texas at Canada Life Centre on the weekend and moved them into the final playoff spot in the Central ahead of Chicago and Iowa.

“It’s big. We got about 20 games left and we’re trying to make a playoff push here. That’s a good hockey team and that’s in our division so those points mean a lot to us,” said Jeff Malott on Sunday.

“You know coming together and kind of challenging ourselves to play physical, play detailed, kind of gives us some confidence moving forward.”

Henri Nikkanen has four points (2G, 2A) over his past two games…Parker Ford has tallied three points (1G, 2A) over his last two contests…Jeff Malott recorded his fourth career three-point game on Sunday vs. Texas…Axel Jonsson-Fjallby has five points (3G, 2A) over his last three games and Jeffrey Viel has points in three straight (2G, 2A).


  • G Dom DiVincentiis (2022, 7th round) was named the OHL Goaltender of the Month for the third time in his career (January 2023 and March 2023). The North Bay netminder was 7-1 with a 2.39 goals against average and .916 save percentage along with a shutout. Since January 1, DiVincentiis is 13-2-1-1 and has helped push the Battalion into fourth in the Eastern Conference standings.
  • F Colby Barlow (2023, 1st round) is up to 33 goals this season and is tied with Oliver Bonk and Carson Rehkopf for the league lead in power play goals with 15.
  • F Jacob Julien (2023, 5th round) sits 18th in OHL scoring with 71 points (24G, 47A).
  • F Connor Levis (2023, 7th round) has 21 points (10G, 11A) in 20 games since being traded to his hometown Vancouver Giants of the WHL.
  • F Rutger McGroarty (2022, 1st round) and the Michigan Wolverines closed out their regular season schedule with an overtime win over 8th ranked Minnesota. McGroarty has 45 points (14G, 31A) in 29 games and the Wolverines will begin a best-of-three Big 10 quarterfinal series with Notre Dame on Friday.