by Nick Hart | AHL On The BeatWhen Jon Lizotte first stepped onto the ice for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, nobody knew fairly what to anticipate from the rookie who put up slightly unassuming numbers in faculty.Nonetheless, only a few shifts into his professional profession, his skills have been on full show.Crashing hits, booming pictures, glowing passes, all of which shortly turned obvious hallmarks of the younger defenseman’s sport as he exploded onto the scene.Lizotte’s shock emergence has proved that the Penguins stumbled upon a key contributor to their season’s success. Little did the group know that it had introduced in a reasonably savvy businessman too.In 1998, Lizotte’s dad and mom, Mike and Lori, based Lizotte Fireworks, a family-operated and -owned fireworks distributor in Minot, North Dakota. Naturally, Jon was introduced in to help with the enterprise when he was a young person as a summer time job. He began by stocking cabinets and doing completely different odd jobs at his dad and mom’ path, however he’s since taken a way more lively position in its operation.“Now, I just about run the entire thing,” Jon stated. “I do all of the ordering for stock, I do the hiring, staffing, and ensuring the enterprise is all set for when issues get busy.“It’s a terrific little enterprise and a enjoyable little summer time gig. We’re actually proud of it.”Because of the entrepreneurial acumen of Mike and Lori, Jon has taken over a enterprise that has grown over twenty years from a pop-up tent to 1 with a number of warehouses stuffed with explosive delights.Jon has a number of duty in the case of taking good care of Lizotte Fireworks again in his residence state, and thus the 25-year-old’s summers have turn into a little bit of a balancing act in the case of managing his time and power. Staying within the form essential to be a premiere athlete whereas additionally sustaining a thriving-but-seasonal enterprise pulls him in a number of completely different instructions.“I keep busy, that’s for certain,” he stated. “Between coaching within the Minneapolis space, residing in Grand Forks after which the enterprise in Minot, I put a number of miles on the automobile. It retains me out of bother, I assume.”Picture: KDP StudioIt clearly hasn’t dulled his hockey abilities, both. After zipping round St. Cloud State College for 4 years, Lizotte has impressed within the early levels of his professional profession. He scored a objective in his AHL debut after which slowly constructed increasingly confidence from there. The undrafted faculty free agent finally put collectively a four-game level streak early within the Penguins’ 2019-20 season, culminating in a pair of spectacular two-point outings to shut out the month of October.As a breakout star amongst a crowded subject of rookies on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton roster, Lizotte has not solely prompted oohs and ahhs from the group at Mohegan Solar Enviornment at Casey Plaza, but in addition a robust response from his new coach as properly.“What I actually like is he competes,” stated Penguins head coach and common supervisor Mike Vellucci. “He’s a aggressive particular person, and each shift he’s giving it his all. Now that he’s getting slightly extra comfy, he’s beginning to make extra of these offensive performs, these little pocket passes or the right angle he made on the chip cross that led to our one OT winner.”Lizotte’s first foray into professional hockey is clearly off to a scorching begin, and he hopes he can proceed to ascend larger and better. However when the time involves name it a profession, he has no issues about what lies forward with life after hockey.“The fireworks factor is unquestionably a fallback as soon as all of the hockey stuff is wrapped up,” Lizotte stated. “I’ve taken to it properly, and it’s good to know that it’s all the time doing properly, however I all the time hoped professional hockey at any degree can be an choice for me.”When the season’s over, Lizotte will go proper again to serving to the household enterprise as they gear up for a fireworks frenzy on the finish of June and starting of July. North Dakota state legislation restricts fireworks distributors to a nine-day window to maneuver their merchandise. That makes for months’ price of labor for Jon that builds as much as slightly greater than every week of gross sales.However the Lizotte household could have discovered a brand new window to make some dough, even when it comes with out the assistance of their hockey-playing son.“They lately modified the state legislation to you may promote over New Yr’s now, too,” he stated earlier than quipping, “I’m sort of busy within the winter this yr, although. Undecided what it’s, however I’ve acquired one thing happening.”Lizotte received’t be capable of open the doorways to the warehouse this winter, however as a substitute, he’s targeted on persevering with to ship fireworks on the ice for the Penguins.