The '03 native of Warwick, RI began the 2022-23 season with the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs of the NCDC, before joining the Railers halfway through this past January.
“Coach Dante Tomassini [Assumption assistant coach] pulled me aside after a game early on this past season, and said he wanted to keep in touch,” said Palumbo. “So we did, and I ended up visiting and loving the campus. After the visit, we would talk here and there until I eventually committed.”
There will be some familiarity for the speedy forward as it will be his third consecutive year calling the Worcester Ice Center his home rink. Prior to the Railers, he played a season of prep hockey with Worcester Academy.
“I really like the campus and the location, and I am also very familiar with Worcester since I have been here for the past two years," added Palumbo. “I also have a cousin who played field hockey and graduated there. It’s a great feeling to know that I found the right place for me.”
Palumbo joined the Railers in the new year after his stint in the NCDC, and it proved to be a great move.
“Unfortunately around Christmas I got let go, and Coach [Sean] Bertoni was right on it,” Palumbo remembered. “He called me that same day and said ‘I have a spot for you.’ I started right after Christmas break.”
Palumbo was a welcome addition for Bertoni’s EHL squad. He scored in just his third game with the Railers, and followed that up with a game-winning power-play goal against the New Jersey 87’s at the Exeter Showcase.
“Nate came to us from the NCDC and immediately had college interest,” said Bertoni. “Nate has tremendous speed and quickness which will help transition at the next level. He is one of the most competitive players I have ever coached. Nate is very determined and rarely loses a puck battle.”
Palumbo finished with 13 points in 18 regular season games, and tacked on seven points in the Railers' playoff run.
According to Palumbo, the Railers helped him just as much.
"Playing for the Railers has given me more confidence as a hockey player,” he said.
Before juniors, Palumbo had an eventful career in high school and prep hockey. His best memories from his high school career include winning a Rhode Island Division I State Championship with Bishop Hendricken.
He had his “heart set” on playing a post-graduate year of hockey, and Worcester Academy (WA) was the destination. Palumbo tallied 26 points in the 2021-22 regular season with WA, capping of the year as Holt Conference Champions.
He then made a name for himself in the Eastern Hockey League. His willingness to engage in battles actually prompted coach Bertoni to tell him that he “needs to avoid contact,” a first for the veteran coach.
At Assumption, Palumbo is excited not only to play against some former teammates, but alongside fellow Railer, Dan Lemanski. He looks forward to “creating new friendships which will probably last forever and getting a good education so I can be successful in life.”
Palumbo plans on studying business in college.
Learn more about the Railers on the team's official website, and check out the full 2022-23 NCAA commitment list.