ASTON, PA -- Trine University is getting the best defenseman in the Eastern Hockey League.
Nick Magill-Diaz has committed to the Angola, Ind.’s NCAA Division 3 team, after a strong three-year junior career that was capped off with winning the EHL’s Defenseman of the Year award for the Philadelphia Little Flyers.
“I mean, it was not necessarily a no-brainer, but it was a really good fit for myself being so close to home,” said Magill-Diaz, a native of Clawson, Mich. “I like the facilities, everything is brand new and everything about Trine is great. I want to go into education and they have a terrific program there. Everything, all the right pieces are there.”
“I’m very happy for him,” added Little Flyers head coach George Lewis. “He found a fit that works for him. That’s a new program that’s on the rise, he’ll help. He defends well, shoots well and skates better than anyone I’ve seen.”
Magill-Diaz certainly felt like he found his place, as the Little Flyers was his third stop in the junior game.
“Honestly, it’s one of the better organizations I’ve ever been a part of,” said Magill-Diaz. “The Giacobbos [team owners] and George Lewis really put a lot of trust and faith in me. One of my former teammates in Michigan, Joey Savel, played there the previous season. He threw my name out to George Lewis.”
The Forward of the Year (Savel) recommended the Defenseman of the Year. Magill-Diaz said he made tremendous strides as an athlete in Philadelphia.
“I feel a lot more confident in myself. All the coaches had trust in me,” he added. “I think I’m a quick defenseman who moves the puck north quickly and jumps up into plays, but also still has a very defensive mind.”
“He’ll just continue to improve. He’s a great skater, a strong kid,” Lewis said. “If he can just continue to focus on the little details and making his habits excellent, he’ll be a good college hockey player.”
Magill-Diaz will be joining a Trine team that includes former Little Flyer Christian Karbler, who was with the team from 2015-17.
As he learns the college game, Magill-Diaz will also be working on the move from student to teacher.
“I would like to be an elementary school teacher,” he added. “I’ve always liked kids and the opportunity to teach is really fun in my opinion.”