June 24, 2020 - After coming off a great season last year with a 35-9-4 record, both Co-Head Coaches Rob Cherella and Mark Rivera didn’t waste much time getting the recruiting process going for this coming season.
The success in this coming season will start from the net out, as the Whalers signed a dynamic trio of goaltenders Joseph Schaul (Titans U18), Joey Colecchia and Vaughn LeDrew (95 Giants). Schaul comes in with an outstanding track record of success and looks to build on that for a crucial 18' season. The Norwood, MA native will add a veteran, leadership presence on the back end. Joey's season was cut short last year due to an injury, but is now healthy and ready to regain his form as one of the most dominant goalies in the NJ area.
On the blue line the Whalers will be led by newcomers Nicholas Ochlan (NJ Titans), Tommy Antanacio (NJ Rockets) and Austin Micale (Valley Forge Minutemen) as well as the key returners from the successful U16 team Yater Henry, Jason Andreyev, Peyton Fobes and Tyler Guttormsen. This crop of defensemen has tremendous raw talent and will be dynamic this season. Their ability to move the puck and skate will make this group fun to watch all season long.
Up front will be headed by the returning veterans of Nico Corsaro, Jack Pallitto, Michael Kuras and Robert Conlan. Rounding out the Whalers offense will be the key returners from our U16 team of George Hinds, Justin Lidondici, Will Distefano, DJ Clements, Dylan Stein, Brendan Kearney. Newcomers Mitch Ducalo (NJ Titans), Kyle Remo (Mercer Chiefs) and Ryan Sullivan (Westchester Express) will give the JS Whalers the extra offense needed to make their mark in the USPHL this year. This depth of the Whalers' forward group will definitely be an integral part of their success this season.
After speaking with the coaches, Coach Rob Cherella said, “We’ve done a lot of homework, research and video on these players. Each and every one of these players have the right mindset, commitment and drive that we look for in a player. We feel this locker room is going to be very successful this year and we look forward to getting the season started.”
Coach Mark Rivera added, “We are excited to get to work with this group. Our goal is to help develop and promote our players, and this roster will continue laying the strong foundation of success and culture we look to bring into our Whaler organization. This season should be a really fun and exciting year once we are able to get going."
The United States Premier Hockey League is excited to announce that more than 300 players have committed to NCAA institutions since June of 2019.
These players have come from Junior and Midget divisions of the USPHL, with well over 50 players committing to NCAA Division I institutions, the greatest number coming from our top junior division, the Tier-2, Tuition-Free National Collegiate Development Conference.
To see the full list of NCAA commitments (as well as commitments to ACHA and other institutions), visit USPHL.com/collegecommits!
The United States Premier Hockey League has announced that the 2020 NCDC Detroit Combine has been postponed by just over a month to July 30-31, but still remaining at Fraser Hockeyland in Fraser, Mich. This announcement has been made due to Michigan state restrictions on the opening of ice rink facilities. All those registered for the NCDC Detroit Combine remain registered for the new dates. There will be guaranteed attendance by at least six National Collegiate Development Conference teams.
A schedule will be posted at least two weeks prior to the event, as well as Health Guidelines and Protocols, with team assignments being sent one week prior to the start of the event.
The 2020 NCDC Combine in Dyer, Indiana, wrapped up early on Sunday evening, re-opening hockey after three months away from the ice for USPHL teams, and for most players as well. Fifteen games and several hundred player-coach conferences took place at the Midwest Training and Ice Center in Dyer, Ind.
There was representation by seven National Collegiate Development Conference teams at this first 2020 NCDC Combine - Utica Jr. Comets, Islanders Hockey Club, Northern Cyclones, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, Boston Junior Bruins, Boston Advantage and Twin City Thunder.
Overall, more than 35 different USPHL teams were in attendance scouting more than 200 prospects for 2020-21 and beyond, all born between the years 2000 and 2004. There was representation from all 10 of the divisions for the USPHL Premier in 2020-21, including from the new Western and Mountain Divisions.
The league held two seminars to teach the players about the United States Premier Hockey League development model, from the NCDC to the Premier and beyond.
The USPHL thanks all the attendees, the teams, the Combine Committee (including Combine Director John Schwarz), and the host Midwest Blackbirds and the Midwest Training and Ice Center in Dyer.
The 2020 National Collegiate Development Conference Entry Draft was held Wednesday, June 10, and the results are officially announced online at USPHL.com/Draft.
There were 181 players selected on Wednesday, as they become immediately affiliated with their new teams. Many, if not all, will skate at NCDC Main Camps this summer.
Several players with NCAA Division I commitments already in hand were selected on Wednesday.
Additionally, this NCDC Entry Draft made history, as it saw the most USPHL Premier players selected yet, with more than 25 being selected from the USPHL's top Tier-3 level of hockey. Several full-season USPHL 18U and 16U players were selected, as well as many from USPHL Affiliate Members.
The United States Premier Hockey League is proud to welcome Lovell Hockey and its Boston Advantage to the League for the 2020-21 season. The Boston Advantage is joining the Tier-II, Tuition-Free National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC), along with the USPHL Premier, and at the full-season 18U, 16U and 15U levels of the League for the 2020-21 season.
Lovell Hockey was founded in 2002 as a skills development hockey school that - in 2006 - founded the Boston Advantage. What started as one barnstorming Midget team has grown into a hockey powerhouse fielding 92 single teams at all Youth, Midget and Junior levels for the 2020-21 season. Entering the USPHL is just the latest chapter in a success story that is nearing 20 years of history. The Boston Advantage rank as one of the longest-standing East Coast full-season Midget programs. Alumni include NHLers such as Noah Hanifin, Colin White and Adam Gaudette, as well as several top players who played NCAA Division I hockey this past season including UNH’s Anthony Wyse, Dartmouth’s Quin Foreman and Northeastern’s Craig Pantano. The 2020-21 season marks the Advantage’s first foray into Junior Hockey.
“We’ve always had a good relationship with the USPHL, especially through [Boston Junior Bruins co-owner] Peter Masters and his tournaments like the Beantown Classic and the Junior Bruins Shootout,” said Lovell Hockey Co-Founder Tim Lovell.
The NCDC provides the framework for high-level junior hockey with the nation’s - and perhaps the world’s - smallest league footprint, ranging from Philadelphia to Maine and west to Utica, N.Y. Every game is within no more than an 8-hour bus ride - and those are the exception and not the norm. Being based in Hingham, Mass., puts the Advantage near the geographic center of the league.
“The NCDC is a high-end league, the top junior league obviously on the East Coast,” said Tim Lovell. “I just think it’s an avenue to put our kids in a great situation for colleges to watch them play. I’m excited for our guys to compete with and against the likes of the Islanders Hockey Club, Jersey Hitmen and Junior Bruins as well as all the other professionally-run NCDC programs. Our goal in Year 1 is to sneak into that top four-team grouping.”
Preparing for the 2020-21 season is different than any other off-season here and everywhere else on earth, due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant lack of scouting opportunities. Lovell Hockey is not worried about filling its USPHL teams, however.
“We already have 18U, 16U and 15U team rosters for the new season set. The NCDC and Premier teams will bring new challenges and our goal is to put a very strong program on the ice in Year 1. We will utilize some of the players currently in the Advantage program and will work on bringing back Advantage alumni who may have gone to Tier-I or Tier-II hockey to return and help us build,” said Lovell. “We will use our allotted tenders right away to sign some players before the NCDC Entry Draft, and are already busy working on our draft list to be prepared for June 10.”
The Advantage have a coaching staff already in place to lead most of their USPHL teams:
• Lovell Hockey Co-Founder Joe Lovell will coach the NCDC team. Joe, an alum of the Boston Junior Bruins and a former Bentley University Captain, comes in with three years of coaching experience at the Tier-II level. Joe Lovell is also the Hockey Director for the New England Knights program.
• Kevin Poulin will be the Head Coach of the Advantage 18U team. Poulin has coached with Lovell Hockey since its 2002 founding.
• Former Boston Bruin Eric Healey will be the Head Coach of the Advantage’s 16U program. He is a 10-year coaching veteran of Lovell Hockey.
• Rob Himburg, the Advantage’s 15U coach, is another longtime Lovell Hockey coach with nine years in the organization.
About The USPHL
Founded in 2012, the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) of 2020-21 is comprised of more than 550 teams, fielding more than 11,000 players in more than 100 organizations, with player ages ranging from 6 to 21. Our teams are geographically diverse, ranging from North and South to the Midwest and West Coast. The USPHL fields teams in a variety of divisions from Junior to the all-Youth Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League. Learn more at USPHL.com and BestPlayHere.com.
The United States Premier Hockey League announced on Wednesday that the League has canceled the 2020 Spring Showcase, due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. The USPHL had earlier rescheduled the Spring Showcase and was planning to hold the event at a variety of facilities in New England. Concern for the health of players, coaches and staff, as well as adherence to Federal, State and Local regulations and guidelines, made the execution of the event to the satisfaction of the League and its Member Organizations impossible to achieve.
Despite the cancellation of the Spring Showcase, the 2020 NCDC Entry Draft will proceed as scheduled on June 10. National Collegiate Development Conference teams will hold the draft by closed conference call and full results will be announced that afternoon on USPHL.com.
The NCDC Combines scheduled for June 13-14 in the Chicago area (Dyer, Ind.) and June 25-26 in the Detroit area (Fraser, Mich.) will occur on those rescheduled dates as planned. Those events will follow Federal, State and Local guidelines and regulations, and the main priority at each will be keeping players, coaches and staff safe and healthy. Details including schedules and health protocols for the Combines will be released soon.
The USPHL Summer Showcase (July 17-19) is still on as scheduled for a location or locations to be determined in the New England/Northeastern U.S. region.
With more than 1,200 former players in college hockey in 2019-20 alone, the United States Premier Hockey League continues to be a leader in advancement to the next level beyond Junior and Midget hockey.
Not only do our players move on to the best educational institutions to continue their hockey careers, they also excel once they reach that level.
Nearly 400 NCAA players from USPHL organizations past and present earned honors from their home conference and beyond during the 2019-20 season.
The USPHL and its Member Organizations congratulate, and are proud of, all of their alumni who are #CommittedLeaders!
Pictured Players: Top Left - Drew O'Connor (Dartmouth College/Boston Junior Bruins), Ivy League Co-Player Of The Year; Top Right - Tom Aubrun (Norwich University/Rochester Jr. Americans), Sid Watson National Division III Player Of The Year; Bottom Left: Conlan Keenan (SUNY-Geneseo/Jersey Hitmen), REPEAT SUNYAC Hockey Player Of The Year; Bottom right - David Farrance (Boston University/Syracuse Stars), Hobey Baker Award Top 10 Finalist.