HOOKSETT, NH -- James Zanca, a defenseman for the New Hampshire Avalanche, has committed to the University of New England for the Fall of 2018. The '97 is in his second season in the EHL, and first with the Avalanche. Through his first 30 games this year, Zanca has tallied 26 total points, which ranks him 2nd in the league in defensive scoring.
"I am very proud of James and his development this season," said Avalanche head coach and general manager Chris Cerrella. "We put a lot of time into pushing him outside his comfort zone and he has really enjoyed being here with us and you can tell in his play. He is in my opinion the most mobile defenseman in the EHL and is going to do a great job in college hockey for UNE. He had a lot of options, and went on a lot of visits, but it all led him right back to UNE. I am very proud of him and glad for him and his family; he is going to do a great job over the next four seasons."
After spending the 2016-17 season with the Northern Cyclones, Zanca knew he wanted to play his final year of junior hockey in the EHL, so he didn't hesitate when the Avalanche officially became a new franchise. The native of Maine took some time to reflect on the journey to this point, and thank those who have helped him along the way.
"After thoughtful consideration I have chosen to attend the University of New England to continue my academic and athletic career, said Zanca. "My family and I are in agreement that UNE will be a great fit for me in all aspects. I'd like to express my endless gratitude to my parents, as they supported me every way possible along my path to college hockey. I'd also like to thank my coaches that have helped me get to where I am now. In particular, Coach Cerrella with the Avs. My decision to play for the Jr. Avs was the best I have ever made for my career. Coach Cerrella works tirelessly to provide the most exposure for each and every one of his players and pushes us to reach our fullest potential. Another thank you to our owner and assistant coach Mario Martiniello, he has done a truly phenomenal job providing players in his organization with nothing but the best facilities and staff. Lastly a huge thanks to the whole Jr. Avs EHL team. I couldn't ask for a more hard-working, supportive, and fun group of guys to finish my junior career with."
Learn more about the New Hampshire Avalanche on the team's official website, and check out the full list of 2018 NCAA Commitments.