WALPOLE, MA -- Players who are 6-foot-3 and can skate don’t grow on trees. Fortunately for Walpole Express coach Jon Lounsbury, he was able to mentor one such player this season.
After graduating from BC High last spring, Ryan Campbell decided he wanted to play a year of junior hockey before matriculating to college.
The decision to skate in the Eastern Hockey League turned out to be beneficial for both player and organization.
“Coach Lounsbury has been an unbelievable coach. I couldn’t be happier with my experience with him and the Walpole Express,” said Campbell.
Campbell was a captain and a standout defenseman for BC High, but there were areas of his game that needed improvement to earn a college commitment. While the raw physical tools had always been there, adjusting to a higher pace and learning the mental aspect of the game weren’t quite where they needed to be to play at a higher level.
“Ryan is a thoroughbred. He has amazing athletic ability. He’s a great skater. He had all the tools. He can make plays. He can skate like the wind. He’s very physical,” said Lounsbury. “For him, it was decision-making. The game happens a little faster than what he was used to.”
Read more on Ryan Campbell on the official website of the New England Hockey Journal.
BOSTON, MA -- Ever since the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) was formed back in 2013, the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) has always recruited the league very strongly. To date, 117 total EHL players have committed to schools in the MASCAC, and that includes 32 more who will be joining the conference this Fall. The MASCAC is made up of the following seven NCAA hockey programs.
Below you'll find a list of all the EHL players who will be kicking off their collegiate hockey careers this Fall, along with some insight from some of the coaches in the MASCAC.
BEDFORD, MA -- Jordan White, a goaltender for the East Coast Wizards, has committed to Plymouth State for the Fall of 2018. The '97 just finished his first full season with the Wizards, owning a record of 3-3-2 for the year.
"Jordan is a big netminder who takes up a lot of room between the pipes," said Wizards head coach and general manager Freddy Meyer. "The knock on goaltenders of his size is often their speed from post to post, but Jordan strays from the norm in this department. Kory [Falite] and I have been impressed with Jordan ever since he arrived at the end of the 2016-17 season. If he hadn't missed the time he did due to injury, his numbers would be at the top of the charts in the EHL."
As Meyer mentioned, White was sidelined for a large portion of the season due to injury, but that didn't keep him from realizing his dreams. While it's difficult for any player to just sit and watch, White did what he could to continue to develop while he was in the stands. The native of North Carolina is very appreciative of the time he spent with the Wizards, and knows it was critical towards his NCAA Commitment.
"Playing for the Wizards helped me mature both on and off the ice," said White. "Freddy and Kory made it easy to play for them as they instill confidence and determination in their players. Adrien pushed the team in the weight room to help us get stronger on the ice. However, most importantly I’d like to thank my parents for supporting me through all the years of hockey and helping me reach my goal of becoming a college hockey player. I am very excited to be a student-athlete at Plymouth State this Fall."
Learn more about the East Coast Wizards on the team's official website, and check out the full list of 2018 NCAA Commitments.
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.”
NORWALK, CT -- Colin O’Connor, a defenseman for the Connecticut RoughRiders, has committed to Saint Michael's College for the Fall of 2018. O'Connor just finished his first and only year in the EHL, as the '98 tallied an even 47 points in 47 regular season games. The native of Connecticut made his impact felt in all three zones on the ice.
"Colin's composure on the ice allowed him to be extremely effective on both the offensive and defensive sides of the game," said RoughRiders head coach and general manager Eric Lind. "He had the vision and knack of finding forwards sticks starting from the attack into the offensive zone, allowing us to put the puck in the net.”
As mentioned, O'Connor averaged a point per game in the EHL as he racked up 11 goals and 36 assists to his name. O'Connor is the first EHL player from the 2017-18 season to commit to Saint Michael's, but that isn't the case when you add up the totals from the five seasons that have taken place since the EHL was formed back in 2013. In total, Saint Michael's has now brought in 11 different players from the EHL.
Learn more about the Connecticut RoughRiders on the team's official website, and check out the full list of 2018 NCAA Commitments.
BEDFORD, MA -- This Fall marks the start of the 6th season for the Eastern Hockey League (EHL), and the 5th year for the East Coast Wizards junior hockey program. Freddy Meyer has been the Head Coach of the team since day #1, and he boasts a strong playing resume that includes over 400 games in the NHL. Meyer recently sat down with Billy Jaffe, and you can read their conversation on the official website of the New England Hockey Journal.
ODENTON, MD -- This Fall, Team Maryland is set to kick-off their inaugural season in the Eastern Hockey League (EHL), and the new franchise is pleased to announce that Jerramie Domish will be their leader behind the bench. Domish has over 30 years of experience in the hockey world. Through his years of playing and coaching, Jerramie has learned that with hard work and dedication anyone can achieve their goals.
“Team Maryland is proud to add another high level coach to our program," said Mike Weiss, the Executive Director of the organization. "Jerramie brings his playing Division I and Pro Hockey experience as well as coaching experience in the EHL. He’s the right fit to lead our new EHL program."
Domish started his playing career in the Atlantic Youth Hockey League (AYHL) in Philadelphia, and at the age of 17, he then moved on to play in the North American Hockey League (NAHL). After a strong first year of playing junior “A” hockey in the NAHL, Domish then advanced to play two years in the Western Junior B Hockey League in Ontario, Canada. In his second year playing, Domish earned a place on the All-Star Team, and was also named the Defenseman of the Year.
He then moved on to college, having earned a four-year sports scholarship playing Division 1 college hockey for UMass Lowell, in the prestigious Hockey East Association. In his Sophomore year, Domish was voted Most Valuable Defenseman by his coaching staff and fellow players. In his senior year, Domish was once again honored by his coaches and peers, as he was named the captain of the team. After completing his senior year and receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts, Domish was ready for the next level.
Over a ten-year professional career, Domish played games in the ECHL, the American Hockey League (AHL), and Europe. Domish was a part of two professional championship teams during his career, and during the off-season, he would teach private ice hockey lessons and hold summer camps for youths of all ages.
After a full year (2017-18 season) of being an assistant coach for his father Jerry Domish and the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers of the EHL, Jerramie is excited to extend his knowledge and passion for the game.
CLICK HERE, for camp registration and more information.
Coach Domish can be reached at JerramieDomish@TeamMaryland.com.
BURLINGTON, VT -- The Vermont Lumberjacks are staying put.
New owner Maurice Rosales is keeping the Eastern Hockey League team in Burlington after buying it in April from former owner Stephen Lary.
Rosales is a longtime Vermont resident. He lives in Jericho, about a half-hour drive from Burlington.
Professionally, he's been senior director in charge of engineering and service delivery for the Vermont-based Vertek Corporation telecommunications business since 1998, but his hockey resume is full.
He's been managing director of USA Hockey's New England District since 2015, he was president of the Vermont State Amateur Hockey Association from 2013-2015, and he's been on the executive board of Glades Youth Hockey since 2010.
"This isn't my first rodeo, when it comes to hockey," Rosales said, with a laugh when asked about his decision to buy the Lumberjacks.
Rosales played a big role in bringing junior hockey back to Vermont after the Green Mountain Glades left following the 2011-12 season.
He helped convince Lary to relocate the Washington Jr. Nationals to Burlington after Lary decided to leave the D.C. area.
"We were looking for a junior hockey team that wanted to relocate and come to Vermont," Rosales said.
The Lumberjacks were born in the 2014-15 season and have increased their victory total in the EHL each year, from 16 to 17 to 22 to 24.
In the same franchise’s four previous seasons as the Jr. Nationals in the Atlantic Junior Hockey League and EHL, the Nationals won a total of 21 games and lost 146 during that stretch.
The Lumberjacks finished 24-24-2 this past season, in second place in the New England Division, and earned the No. 5 seed in the EHL playoffs.
Despite the team's recent success, word got out last fall that Lary was looking to sell the Lumberjacks. Rosales knew about Lary's decision.
"Stephen and I had a good relationship and rapport. He was looking for someone local to buy the team, and I said I'd help him find someone," Rosales said.
Buying the team was in the back of his mind, Rosales said, until January, when he made the decision to look into what it would mean for him.
"It was my wife who actually convinced me to look into it," he said. "She knew I was interested in buying the team and she said I should at least do some research into it."
Had he not purchased the team, Rosales said, there was a very good chance the Lumberjacks would have been sold to someone who would have taken the team out of state.
Rosales thinks Vermont is a great spot for junior hockey.
"Guys love to play junior hockey in Vermont and on the East Coast because the area is loaded with colleges," he said.
As for the Lumberjacks, they play in the city-owned Leddy Arena in Burlington, where there is no admission to their home games. The team is very involved in the community and Rosales wants to ramp up that effort, especially with youth hockey programs.
HAMDEN, CT -- Ryan Kheir, a forward for the Connecticut Oilers, has committed to Becker College for the Fall of 2018. After joining the Oilers in early November, the '97 racked up 13 points in 33 games. In total, Kheir appeared in 42 EHL games last season, and he tallied 18 points to his name.
"Ryan came to our team in the middle of the year and worked very hard towards this goal," said Oilers head coach and general manager Karl Linden. "Ryan’s speed and transition game will translate real well to the next level.”
When Kheir arrives at Becker College, he will join a strong class of incoming freshmen that is loaded with EHL experience. Along with Kheir, the Hawks will welcome in the following EHL players this Fall.
Jake Cagnina - (Boston Jr. Rangers)
Connor Lenaghan - (Philadelphia Jr. Flyers)
Dennis Ruppe - (Philadelphia Jr. Flyers)
Tim Atkins - (Total Athletics Seahawks)
Nick DiLisi - (Total Athletics Seahawks)
Cooper Fowler - (Valley Jr. Warriors)
The native of Texas is honored to be a part of this group, and he took some time to reflect and give thanks to all of those who helped him reach this point.
“I’d like to thank my coaches and the Connecticut Oilers for bringing me in and giving me all the opportunities to succeed as a hockey player,” said Kheir. "I’d also like to thank my family for the support throughout the years of my hockey career. The work doesn’t stop, it’s just the beginning of a new page."
BOSTON, MA -- On Tuesday, the North American Hockey League (NAHL) held its annual draft, as the hockey calendar turns over to the upcoming 2018-19 season. In total, four former Eastern Hockey League (EHL) players were drafted, led by Dylan Schuett who was selected 6th overall by the Brookings Blizzard. The 2017-18 EHL Rookie of the Year is honored to have been selected towards the very top of the draft, and he took some time to talk about how valuable his time in the EHL was towards his development.
RAVIN - "Before the start of the 2017-18 season, were you nervous about being one of the youngest players in the EHL?"
SCHUETT - "Before the season began, I was definitely a little nervous going from playing against guys my age or a year younger at Edge, to playing against guys up to 3 years older. However it provided me with extra motivation to prove that I belonged with the older boys and could fit in with their speed and size and more mature game. I think being the youngest also took some pressure off because there were no expectations for me to live up to, especially as a new player and rookie, at the start of the season, which changed quickly."
RAVIN - "At what point last year did you realize you belonged on the same ice as all these players that were at least a couple years older than you?"
SCHUETT - "I would say it was when [Devin] Panzeca showed up around the 10-game mark; that's when I realized I belonged. It helped that I scored the first goal of the year for the Wizards, as I got that monkey off my back right away. However, when Panzeca arrived around the 10-game mark, things just took off from there. It was when he took me under his wing that I really started to excel and realized I could not only keep up, but perform with the older guys."
RAVIN - "Looking back on the year as a whole, what areas of your game were you able to improve that helped you go #6 overall in the NAHL draft?"
SCHUETT - "I don’t think it was any one part of my game that improved, but rather my game as a whole. Freddy and Kory gave me the opportunity to play in all aspects of the game, whether it was even strength, penalty kill or even power play. I became relied on for key face-offs and important situations in the game. Freddy, Kory and Adrien spent a lot of time one-on-one time with me as well. On the ice it was little things, like puck control, fluidity, and hand placement on my stick. Of the ice, Adrien spent a lot of his time with me in the gym to get bigger and stronger, and to improve my strength and physicality on the ice. I gained 12 pounds throughout the season, which is more than I ever have before, and I know it was due to the the intensity of the training with Adrien."
While Schuett was the first EHL player selected in the draft, he wasn't the only one. Hayden Taylor was part of the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers that won the 2016-17 EHL Championship, and he was selected by the Lone Star Brahmas with the 21st overall pick in the draft.
Later on, Niks Krollis of the New Hampshire Avalanche was selected by the Amarillo Bulls, and Bryce Witman of the Philadelphia Revolution was taken by the New Jersey Titans.