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Freeman Commits to Johnson & Wales

By EHL, 07/26/23, 9:00AM EDT


Express Defenseman Set to Join Wildcats this Fall

WALPOLE, MA -- Joe Freeman, a defenseman for the Express Hockey Club, has committed to Johnson & Wales University (JWU) for the fall of 2023.

The '03 native of Boston, MA joined the Express in late October of this past season, and over the course of 36 total Eastern Hockey League (EHL) games combined between the regular season and the postseason, Freeman tallied 10 points to his credit on a pair of goals plus eight assists.

"Joe was a huge pickup for us in late October," said Express head coach Nic Cota. "Joe’s love for the game, his hockey IQ, and compete level, will help him thrive at the collegiate ranks. I’m extremely proud of him for reaching his goal to play college hockey before his age-out season. Congratulations to Joe and his family! We can’t wait to follow his contributions at the next level with JWU!"

As Cota mentioned, Freeman is making this decision despite still having a year of junior hockey eligibility still remaining. Regardless, the steady defenseman is ready to make the move now to the next level.

"Playing for the Express this past year was one of the most fun and memorable years of my life," said Freeman. "I loved getting to the rink early every morning to see my teammates, who pushed me daily, and my two great coaches, Coach Cota and Coach Kyle [Robertson]. Coach Cota encouraged me to be confident in my abilities and help the team as best I could all while being a close friend and mentor off the ice. Coach Kyle helped me with the defensive aspects of my game and never failed to make me laugh. Thank you to all my teammates, coaches, and family; I will always cherish my time in Walpole and look forward to playing in Providence next year."

While Freeman is just the first EHL player from the 2022-23 season to choose JWU, he's also the 32nd player in league history to commit to the Wildcats' program. Also, with his commitment, JWU has now committed at least one player per season from the EHL, for all 10 years dating back to when the league was formed in 2013.

Learn more about the Express on the team's official website, and check out the full 2022-23 NCAA commitment list.