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Tri-City forward Jake Richard debuts with new squad after "whirlwind" week

After being traded from Muskegon to Tri-City on Monday, Jake Richard debuted with his new squad Friday night in Omaha

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Jake Richard made his Tri-City debut Friday night in a 4-1 loss at Omaha. Richard joins a Tri-City team in the middle of the Western Conference playoff race. “I just want to do what I can to help this team every night," he said. "Whatever I can do to help my team get two points.”
Jordan McAlpine / The Rink Live

OMAHA, Neb. – Jake Richard had never been traded before. The Jacksonville, Florida, product has traveled all over North America in his budding hockey career, but he'd never been moved mid-season.

That changed earlier this week.

“It’s been a whirlwind, for sure,” Richard said. “I found out about the trade on Monday and traveled to (Kearney, Neb.) on Tuesday, but I’m starting to settle in. (The trade) was a little bit of a surprise but ever since I got here it’s been great.

"I’m really happy to be here and excited to get going.”

The right-shot forward was sent to the Tri-City Storm in a trade that sent a 2023 Phase II second-round pick, a 2023 Phase I third-round pick and future considerations back to Muskegon. Muskegon also sent a 2023 Phase I 10th-round pick to Tri-City along with Richard.


Richard debuted with his new squad Friday night, a 4-1 loss at Omaha. Although Richard was held off the scoresheet, it wasn’t for a lack of chances.

He slotted into the right side of Tri-City’s second line and saw plenty of time on Tri-City’s power play unit. The Storm had 10 power-play opportunities as Friday’s game featured 17 combined penalties.

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Jake Richard made his Tri-City debut Friday night in a 4-1 loss at Omaha. Richard was Muskegon's leading scorer with 18 goals and 35 points.
Jordan McAlpine / The Rink Live

Richard was also a fixture on the ice in the final minutes as Tri-City trailed by one goal.

“We got a glimpse of what he can do,” Tri-City head coach Anthony Noreen said. “When you can add a guy that can break a game open through making a play or scoring, it makes a huge difference.”

The 2022 Buffalo Sabres’ sixth-round pick is already the leading scorer on Tri-City’s roster, the same title he held in Muskegon.

Richard has 18 goals and 35 points in 31 games this season. He’s hoping that production will follow him to central Nebraska.

“I’m just super excited to be here,” Richard said. “There’s a great group of guys here and I’m looking forward to the next few months.”

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Jake Richard made his Tri-City debut Friday night in a 4-1 loss at Omaha. This was Richard's second season in Muskegon as Richard played 56 games with the Lumberjacks last season.
Jordan McAlpine / The Rink Live

Richard joins a Tri-City team in the thick of the Western Conference race. The Storm are currently fifth in the conference with 36 points, just four points back of fourth-place Sioux City. Third and seventh are separated by just 10 points.


Muskegon (17-18-2-0) currently sits in seventh in the Eastern Conference and the Lumberjacks dropped seven of their 10 games before trading Richard away.

“We had a great setup in Muskegon and a great group of guys,” he said. ”I had a great experience there and I learned a lot. So I’m thankful for my time there, but I’m looking forward to bringing that to Tri-City now.

“I’m excited to be on a winning team and I want to win a championship. I think we have the team to do it here in Tri-City.”

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That’s music to the ears of his new head coach.

“We’ve added one of the premier players in this league,” Noreen said. “You don’t see many guys have rookie seasons like Jake did in this league and there’s a reason he was drafted in the NHL. I know he’s excited to have the chance to make a playoff run and he’s a guy that I think can make a difference once he gets acclimated and comfortable here.

“You saw how many chances he had tonight, both five-on-five and on the power play. I think he can give us a huge boost down the stretch.”

Jordan McAlpine is a junior and prospects reporter for The Rink Live.
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