BOSTON, MA -- Ever since the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) was formed back in 2013, the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) has always recruited the league very strongly. To date, 44 total EHL players have committed to schools in the NESCAC, and that includes five more who will be joining the conference this Fall. The NESCAC is made up of the following ten NCAA hockey programs.
Below you'll find a list of the EHL players who will be kicking off their collegiate hockey careers this Fall, along with insight from a few of the coaches in the NESCAC. The NESCAC is known as one of the stronger athletic conferences at the division III level, but more importantly, is well-recognized for the academic strength of all their institutions.
WARMINSTER, PA -- Hayden Ford, a defenseman for the Philadelphia Revolution, has committed to Buffalo State College for the Fall of 2018. The '97 played two full seasons with the Revolution, tallying 47 points in 86 total games on the blue line.
"Hayden has really progressed over his two years here with the Revolution," said Revolution general manager Chris Kanaly. "He was one of our most steady and reliable defenseman. He is a rock on the back end, who rarely makes mistakes. He was definitely an unsung hero on our team last season.”
As Kanaly mentioned, Ford was incredibly reliable for his team this past season, and that can be proven through the fact that he dressed in every single regular season and postseason game (56 total games). The native of New Jersey is excited for the future, but also very grateful for his time in Philadelphia.
"I want to thank the Revolution organization for a great two years," said Ford. "I am looking forward to applying what I learned from Coach Rogger and Coach Matiskiel to Buffalo State and play for Coach Murphy. I want to make an impact right away and I felt Buffalo State was the school where I could earn that opportunity."
Learn more about the Philadelphia Revolution on the team's official website, and check out the full list of 2018 NCAA Commitments.
BOSTON, MA -- This past week a pair of announcements were made regarding a couple coaches from the Mid-Atlantic Conference of the Eastern Hockey League (EHL).
After two seasons behind the bench for the New York Applecore, Graham Johnson has been named the new head coach of the MSOE Raiders in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA - Division III). Also after two seasons (one as Head Coach and one as Assistant Coach), George Lewis of the Philadelphia Little Flyers has been named the new Assistant Coach of the Amarillo Bulls in the North American Hockey League (NAHL - Tier II). The EHL would like to congratulate each coach on earning their new positions, as well as thank these hard-working individuals for everything they did for the league.
"My experience in the EHL has been invaluable to my development as a head coach," said Johnson. "The caliber of the coaches in the league forces you to get better everyday, to work hard, and get creative. My time with the Applecore has provided me the tools to move on to the college level as a more prepared head coach, in order to compete in one of the most competitive conferences at the NCAA Division III level."
Lewis echoed a similar sentiment towards his time in the EHL, and also spoke of his excitement towards being reunited with Rocky Russo (former Head Coach of the Little Flyers).
“Rocky is an excellent hockey coach as everyone knows,” Lewis said. “I was fortunate enough to walk into a good situation when I got together with him in Philadelphia. Rocky and I are pretty much on the same page when it comes to coaching; from the way we think the game, prepare, and compete. We want to do a good job.”
Each coach can't wait to get started this fall, but they also are really thankful for all those who helped them reach this point. Just like all of the players that advance from the EHL, the coaches rely on strong supporting casts as well.
"I would like to thank Bob and Steve Santini, Mark Kumpel and the rest of the league staff, for the opportunity to coach in the EHL," said Johnson. "My assistant coaches [Eric Soltys, Brian Fahey, and Matt Voity], and everyone else who helped over these past two years, this would not have been possible without each of you."
"I would like to thank the Giacobbo family for the opportunity they gave me with the Little Flyers," said Lewis. "I would also like to thank Mark Catron, Mike Narrigan, Anthony Lorusso, and everyone else that made my job that much easier in Philadelphia. I learned a lot during my time in the EHL, and I will be keeping a very close watch on the league as it continues to grow stronger over the next few years."
Read the full releases on Graham Johnson and George Lewis.
WARMINSTER, PA -- Peter Ciccarelli, a goaltender for the Philadelphia Revolution, has committed to the University of Southern Maine for the Fall of 2018. The '97 just finished his first and only season in the EHL, owning a record of 16-4-1 to go along with a 1.92 GAA and .934 save percentage.
"We are excited for Pete," said Revolution general manager Chris Kanaly. "He came in this year and really did a solid job for our program. He's a great kid, both on and off the ice, and we know he will be successful at the collegiate level."
The native of Chelmsford, MA played a key role in helping his team advance all the way to Championship Sunday at the EHL Frozen Finals. Ciccarelli was named the Goaltender of the Month in January, and was also selected by the coaches to First All-Conference Team (South Conference). All in all, it was a great final year of junior hockey for Ciccarelli, and he took some time to show his appreciation.
"I would like to thank the Revolution organization for the opportunity this season," said Ciccarelli. "The club does a great job balancing winning and development. I am looking forward to continuing my career as a Husky. I felt that the University of Southern Maine was a good fit academically and athletically."
Learn more about the Philadelphia Revolution on the team's official website, and check out the full list of 2018 NCAA Commitments.
MONTREAL, QC -- Cayden Primeau was changing out some beds in the Northeastern University dorms as part of his student job earlier this summer when he received an unexpected phone call.
It was U.S. National Junior Team head coach, Mike Hastings, on the other end of the line, inviting the 18-year-old goaltender to participate in the 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase, which begins this weekend in Kamloops, BC.
"It was kind of out of the blue," recalled Primeau, one of four goaltenders who received invitations to participate in the event that also features the top youngsters from Canada, Finland and Sweden. "I've grown up wanting to play World Juniors. The last couple of years, I realized that it could potentially be an option, so when I got the call, it was exciting."
No doubt Primeau earned the right to travel to British Columbia after stringing together a solid freshman campaign with the Huskies in the NCAA ranks.
After posting a 19-8-5 record last season, along with a sparkling 1.92 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage in 34 appearances in between the pipes, the Voorhees, NJ native is eager to put himself to the test again and strut his stuff in front of the American brass.
"It's the best of the best. I've always just wanted to play at the highest level," said Primeau, who was a finalist for the 2018 Mike Richter Award, which is presented to the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA hockey. "It's great to be involved in an event like this. I'm just excited to see the great group we have and all the talent in one place. We all want to be on the team come December, so everyone is going to be pushing each other."
The Canadiens' seventh-round selection - 199th overall - in 2017 isn't about to let the excitement of being on-site get in the way of his performance, though. He's taking a calm, cool and collected approach into his very first Summer Showcase experience.
"I'm just trying to go in with an open mind and just play my game. I want to be confident and comfortable," affirmed Primeau, who spends his summer back home training with goalie coach, Chris Kanaly. "When I feel confident, I feel like I'm playing my best. That's the mindset I'm trying to go into this with."
Should Primeau ultimately crack the roster, it would mark his first time representing his country internationally since taking part in the 2017 IIHF U18 World Championship in Slovakia. The Americans claimed gold, but Primeau didn't see game action.
"It was a different perspective, because if I'm not playing I'm usually watching from the bench. So, it was different being up in the stands," mentioned Primeau, on being the squad's third netminder. "But, it was still cool because I enjoyed watching all those talented guys play - not just the goalies, but everyone. Being around them in the locker room was special."
As would being a member of the U20 contingent, of course. The competition opens on Boxing Day, with games slated for Rogers Arena in Vancouver and Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria.
"Words can't describe what it's like to put that jersey on. Every time is like the first," confided Primeau, who backstopped the United States to a World Junior A Challenge gold medal in 2016 in Alberta. "Being able to have the opportunity to make the team and then playing in the tournament I've grown up watching would be special."
WALPOLE, MA -- Tommy McCarthy, a defenseman for the Walpole Express, has committed to Westfield State University for the Fall of 2018. The '97 just finished his second season in Walpole, and his first at the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) level. The native of the Dedham, MA spent the 2016-17 campaign at the Eastern Hockey League Premier (EHLP) level.
"Tommy was one of our most reliable players on the back end," said Express head coach and general manager Jon Lounsbury. "His skating ability allowed him to control the play and be a high end defender for us. I am excited to see the jump he makes next season at Westfield. I wish Tommy the best of luck in the Fall."
Looking back at his time with the Express, the skilled defenseman posted identical numbers in each of his two seasons. McCarthy notched a pair of goals and 11 assists in his only season in the EHLP, and then posted the same exact line this past year in the EHL. As Lounsbury mentioned, McCarthy proved to be one of the most reliable players for Walpole, and that has a lot to do with how much he developed during his time with the organization.
"I want to personally thank Coach Lounsbury and Coach Polino for all of their help in the last two seasons," said McCarthy. "I had an incredible experience with the Express and I'm excited to head to Westfield in the Fall. Lastly, I want to thank my parents for allowing me the time to develop and pursue my dream of playing college hockey."
Learn more about the Walpole Express on the team's official website, and check out the full list of 2018 NCAA Commitments.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON, PA -- David Pfoestl, a defenseman for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, has committed to Anna Maria College for the Fall of 2018. The '99 native of Italy just finished his first and only season in the EHL, notching seven points in 40 total games on the blue line.
"I'm very happy for David and his decision,” said Knights head coach Josh Fusco. “Any time a kid leaves to go play NCAA hockey it’s a great feeling of accomplishment all across the board. Having David the past two years and seeing his tremendous improvement with several parts of his game has been a great sight to see. This decision is a great reward for all the hard work that he has been putting in.”
As Fusco mentioned, Pfoestl is a young player who has developed well during his time with the Knights. The 6'3 defenseman now sets off to join a new program, that is looking to get off to a fast start this Fall. The Anna Maria College Amcats are bringing in Pfoestl and 11 other players from the EHL, with hopes that this core group will help the program find instant success in their inaugural season at the division III level. Pfoestl is looking forward to the challenge, and he also took some time to show his appreciation to the Knights.
“I chose Anna Maria College because I felt that it was the right place to continue my academic career, and also to play hockey at the college level,” said Pfoestl. “I visited the campus and felt comfortable and welcomed right away. When I first moved to the United States from Italy to play hockey it had always been my goal to go to college to pursue my academic and athletic career. Attending Anna Maria College this Fall is a dream becoming true for me and I could not be more excited to start this new chapter in my life. Playing in the EHL this past season under coach Fusco not only helped me to develop into a better hockey player, but also into a better person off the ice. The level of play in the EHL was very high and definitely prepared me to make the next step to play college hockey. Being part of the Knights family over the last 3 years was an honor and a lifetime experience for me. I would like to thank my family, coaches, teammates, and everyone else who supported me throughout these years. Especially my family who made a lot of sacrifices for me and also Coach Fusco for believing in my potential and developing me into the player and person I am now.”
Learn more about the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on the team's official website, and check out the full list of 2018 NCAA Commitments.
BREWSTER, NY -- Joe Verboys, a forward for the New York Applecore, has committed to Gustavus Adolphus College for the Fall of 2018. The '97 joined the Applecore in early November, and went on to rack up 37 points in 28 total games. Verboys was the offensive catalyst for his team, as they knocked off the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights in the First Round of the EHL Playoffs and gave the Philadelphia Revolution a tough battle in the Second Round.
Verboys is the 5th player in EHL history to commit to join the Golden Gusties, and he is the first alum to make the decision since 2016. The native of Suffern, NY was named a Second Team All-Conference (Forward) this past season, and he'll be looking to carry his scoring touch over to the collegiate ranks starting this Fall.
Learn more about the New York Applecore on the team's official website, and check out the full list of 2018 NCAA Commitments.
BOSTON, MA -- Ever since the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) was formed back in 2013, the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) has always recruited the league very strongly. To date, 80 total EHL players have committed to schools in the SUNYAC, and that includes 14 more who will be joining the conference this Fall. The SUNYAC is made up of the following nine NCAA hockey programs.
Below you'll find a list of all the EHL players and one alumni who will be kicking off their collegiate hockey careers this Fall, along with insight from some of the coaches in the SUNYAC.
HAMDEN, CT -- Olof Djurberg, a goaltender for the Connecticut Oilers, has committed to Bethel University for the Fall of 2018. In his first and only season in the EHL, the '97 won 11 games and was named an #Eshow Top Performer back in January (TSR Hockey Stars of the Week #21).
"Olof is a coach's dream, as he led the Oilers both on and off the ice this past year," said Oilers head coach and general manager Karl Linden. "Olof played extremely well as he net-minded the newly formed Oilers to the EHL Playoffs. His technical and calm style of play will translate real well to the next level.”
As Linden mentioned, Djurberg was the anchor behind the Oilers run to the postseason. While the year ultimately ended sooner than the team had hoped, the Swedish goaltender and his teammates have a lot to be proud. Djurberg took some time to show his appreciation.
"I'm proud to announce my commitment to play hockey and further my education at Bethel University," said Djurberg. "Thank you to my family, friends and coaches who have helped me along the way!"
With Djurberg's commitment, the Bethel University Royals have now brought in at least one new player from the EHL in each of the past three seasons.