Diaz Commits to Purdue University Northwest.

Florida Eels are excited to announce the college commitment of Elite defenseman and Captain JJ Diaz to Purdue University Northwest for the 2024-2025 season. Diaz a four-year veteran of the USPHL began his junior hockey career with the Bridgewater Bandits in 2020, before joining the Florida Eels in 2021. Diaz spent the next three seasons playing for the Florida Eels Elite team, where he became Captain and front runner of the team. Over the course of his tenure at the USPHL Diaz played in 120 games, scored 7 goals, had 42 assists and a total of 49 points.

Diaz will head to the Purdue University Northwest in the fall of 2024 where he plans to study Business Management and Business Financing. Diaz states that he chose Purdue, “because of the education, campus, class size, coaching staff and team.” He looks forward to becoming an active member of the Purdue campus and hockey team.

California native, JJ Diaz moved away from home a young age of 16 to play for the Bridgewater Bandits, before transferring over to the Florida Eels in 2021. Diaz attributes his success to his time with the Florida Eels, “I’ll remember most of my four years of Junior Hockey with the Florida Eels. The Eels signed me and it changed me into a better player both on and off the ice. The different cultures and nationalities of my teammates allowed me to learn a lot and was fun to learn about my teammates and try to speak their languages.” Diaz’s hard work and leadership ability did not go unnoticed, and he was named Captain of the 2023-2024 Elite team. To Diaz, each teammate and member of the Eels staff became extended family, “I loved my billet families, and the overall scene of Fort Myers. Everyone was joyful and happy which was very comforting” Diaz stated.

Moving away from home at young age, allowed Diaz to grow and develop into a young man of character. Diaz’s family continued to support him both near and from far, “they have been my number one support cast.” Diaz’s parents continued to attend showcases and games when they could, while his grandmother drove down from the Orlando area to watch every home game-ready to cheer him on.

Work Ethic a key ingredient of the Florida Eels according to Diaz, we all had “passion to win. We pushed each other to pour limits and wanted success for each other.” It is with this undeniable work ethic, that Diaz will succeed at Purdue University Northwest both academically and at his hockey career. Diaz will continue to represent the Eels as an Alumni, at Purdue University Northwest, along with other Eels alum Fynn O’Neill. The Eels wish him much success and luck with his new collegiate hockey career.

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