Photo by Rena Laverty
Frank Nazar III is the definition of Michigan made hockey. From youth hockey to juniors to announcing his college commitment, everything about his development went through the Great Lake State.
Aside from Michigan being home to many household hockey names, it was a special family connection that sparked his interest and got Nazar to take his first steps out on the ice.
“My dad used to own a parking garage in downtown Detroit and he’d park all the people for the Red Wings games across from the rink,” said Nazar. “From that, he just became a huge hockey fan and even was in the parades when they won the Stanley Cup.”
“Growing up, watching him watch the games was what got me into it. One day, he asked me if I wanted to play and I said yes.”
Just like NHL stars and NTDP alumni Ryan Kesler, Patrick Kane and Zach Werenski, Nazar’s career began within the Honeybaked and Little Caesar’s AAA youth programs.
To add to the outstanding training and coaching Nazar knew he would get from playing under those programs, being able to play close to his family and friends made the journey that much sweeter.
“Those two teams are big for Michigan. They do a great job on representing the players and the teams that come through. It’s nice to have such a hockey town surrounding them. It’s nice being able to play in your hometown and having them support you rather than having to go all across the country searching for good hockey.”
Growing up just under an hour away from USA Hockey Arena, Nazar and his family made many trips to come watch NTDP alumni such as Dylan Larkin, Quinn Hughes and Adam Fox.
After all the years of looking up to those players who represented Team USA, it was a dream realized for Nazar when he found out that he was a going to be a part of the NTDP legacy.
“It was really a dream come true. I’ve always pictured it, coming to the games when I was younger, playing on this team and to be honest I had no clue what I would do if I didn’t make it. For me, it was about putting it all out there, but it’s been really great to have my family at all my games.”
With so much success already in his home state, it was an easy decision for Nazar when he announced his commitment to the University of Michigan back in April of 2019.
Favorite NHL Team
Detroit Red Wings
Favorite NHL Player
Favorite Musical Artist
Lil Uzi Vert
Favorite Home-Cooked Meal
Ready to be a member of the Wolverines incoming class of 2022, Nazar is looking to further build his game during his final season with the NTDP in order to step up and make an impact before he heads to Yost Ice Arena.
“Michigan’s hockey program is just so prestigious with all the great coaches and players that came out of their program,” stated Nazar. “It’s a place where I can grow my game and help me move on to the best level.”
Whether he is ready for it or not, Nazar’s time at USA Hockey Arena is beginning to wind down. For him, along with the rest of the U18 team, preparing to have their most successful season is the name of the game.
One thing is for certain, as time goes on, Nazar will never forget the guys who inspired him to get to where he is today.
“I’d say seeing the opportunities that the players at the NTDP had and how many of them moved on to the next level. Also, seeing how they were able to come from teams like Honeybaked and Little Caesars, teams that I played for, was also a big part.”
“All in all, they’re all just a person like I am so it was cool to think they were in the same shoes I was.”
Photo by Rena Laverty