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Two Viper Stars tendered by NAHL Clubs

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh, PA – Two members of the 2011-20121 Pittsburgh Viper Stars 18U AAA Tier I hockey club have been tendered by North American Hockey League (NAHL) Junior A clubs for the 2012-2013 season.

Heinz Koster, a senior at Kittanning High School, has signed a tender sheet with the Aberdeen Wings (Aberdeen, SD) of the NAHL for next season.

Through 41 games in the 2011-2012 season, the 6’0”, 180 lbs., forward, has scored 43 points (21 goals and 22 assists) in 36 games played, helping the 18U AAA Viper Stars to a record of 26-12-2-1.

Currently the leading scorer in the PHL league play with 20 points (11 goals and 9 assists), appearing in 11 league games, Koster a Kittanning, PA, resident, has helped lead the 18U Viper Stars into first place in the 17-team North American Prospects Hockey League (PHL), with an 11-1-0-1 record with 13 games of the 22 game regular season completed.

Koster will have an opportunity to skate next season for Aberdeen head coach and general manager Pete Sauer. The Wings, in their second year in the NAHL, are currently in fourth place in the NAHL’s Central Division.

Jake Pilewicz, a junior at Quaker Valley High School, has signed a tender sheet with the Minot Minotauros, (Minot, ND) of the NAHL for next season.

The 6’3”, 190 lbs., defenseman has scored 25 points in 39 games (9 goals and 16 assists) for the 18U Viper Stars so far this season. In PHL play, the Sewickley resident has tallied 11 points (5 goals and 6 assists) in 12 league games, including four power play goals.

Pilewicz will have an opportunity to skate next season for former NHL player Marty Murray, a 1993 draft choice of the Calgary Flames who played 261 games in the NHL with the Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes and the Los Angeles Kings. The Minotauros, an expansion franchise under Murray in their first year in the NAHL, are currently in fifth place in the league’s Central Division.

By signing a tender to an NAHL club, a contract of sorts, a player is announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Each team is granted eight (8) tenders - plus or minus any trades - which become active on Nov. 1. Tendered players are not eligible for the NAHL draft. All tendered and drafted players are eligible to try out for any team in any league other than the NAHL in the U.S. and Canada.

Jake Pilewicz
The Pittsburgh Viper Stars are a proud member of the North American Prospect Hockey League (PHL) and USA Hockey and have offered western Pennsylvania and the tri-state area’s top ice hockey players an opportunity to showcase their skills for junior, collegiate and other opportunities on a national and international level over the past 28 years. For additional information on the Pittsburgh Viper Stars program, please visit (

The 28-member North American Hockey League is the only USA Hockey sanctioned Tier II Junior A league. The NAHL prides itself on the social maturity and skill development of student-athletes with aspirations of advancing to collegiate and/or professional hockey.

Now in its third season, the North American Prospects Hockey League is made up of 42 Midget Major (17), Midget Minor (18) and Bantam Major (7) teams from 20 programs that compete at the Tier I AAA level.

The PHL, which is sanctioned by USA Hockey, utilizes the USA Hockey Officiating Development Program and is designed to maximize the exposure of all the Midget and Bantam participants through the NAHL's high-profile recruiting events, which attract hundreds of college, junior and professional scouts. Orchestrated by the NAHL's experienced and professional staff that makes player promotion a priority, the NAPHL provides an organized and competitive experience with an unrivaled scouting presence guaranteed to benefit all of the participating student-athletes and programs. For additional information on the PHL, please visit (

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