The United States Premier Hockey League, and its top division, the tuition-free National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC) are pleased to announce that New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs forward Aidan Curran has been named the 2018-19 Rookie Of The Year.
The 2018-19 NCDC Awards are voted on by the coaches of each team.
Curran, a 2001-born player out of Dracut, Mass., scored 12 goals and added 37 assists for 49 points in the regular season for the Monarchs. He played this 2018-19 season in the home state of his future college hockey team, the University of New Hampshire. He is currently expected to join the Wildcats for the 2020-21 season.
Curran committed to UNH out of the USPHL 16U Division last season, where he also played in the Monarchs organization.
“Aidan had a breakout season this year. His playmaking ability is incredible, and he has found a bit of a scoring touch as well,” said Ryan Frew, head coach of the Monarchs’ NCDC team and also the NCDC Coach Of The Year. “His commitment and dedication to fine-tuning his game on a daily basis is commendable. He’s one of the hardest working players that I’ve coached.”
Curran wasted no time making an impact with the NCDC Monarchs in his - and the team’s - first season in the top, tuition-free junior division of the USPHL. He earned two assists in the team’s first-ever game on Sept. 14, a win over eventual Dineen Cup finalists the Connecticut Jr. Rangers.
By the time October was done, Curran was already a better than point per game player for hte Monarchs, posting 19 points through his first 16 games, which included a nine-game point streak through October. He scored 15 of the aforementioned 19 points in that stretch.
In January, Curran was also an All-Star Game selection, and he registered an assist in a classic showdown of the NCDC’s best at Merrimack College. Frew was one of the American team’s coaches, and the team lost a close 7-5 battle to the team coached by the two Dineen Cup finalist coaches of the Junior Bruins and Rangers.
“Aidan’s skating and speed have always been an attribute but this year he found another gear,” said Frew. “His ability to create space for himself, and separate from opponents is fun to watch. He worked hard this year rounding out his game.”
When the regular season ended, Curran placed in a tie for 12th overall in league scoring with his 49 points. His 37 assists were good enough for sixth overall in the league. His performance on the ice was matched by his personality and grace off the ice, added Frew.
“The University of New Hampshire is getting a great hockey player, but they are also getting an incredible young man,” said Frew. “Curran is well liked by his teammates and staff, and respected by anyone that he spends time with. He’s a first class kid.”
Stay tuned later today at USPHL.com for the announcements of the Goaltender Of The Year and Most Valuable Player Awards!