When it’s late summer, Trent DeNuccio feels like he’ll be walking into a gold mine of talent for the NCAA Division III level.
DeNuccio - a ‘99 from Leesburg, Va. - was an NCDC All-Star last year for the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs. He’s joining fellow NCDC All-Stars Zach Rehbaum and Bryce DeFazio (Northern Cyclones) and Jared Thomas (Boston Bandits) in the Class of 2024 recruitment crew for the SUNY-Geneseo Knights.
“I think it’s great. It’s awesome to see we’re going to get players of that caliber and great character,” said DeNuccio.
DeNuccio, who scored 52 points in 70 games over two seasons with the Monarchs, went into his visit with SUNY-Geneseo with a checklist in mind.
“The first thing was the coaching staff - they were very personable. Coach [Kris] Heeres asked me how things were going and if I had any questions, he’d get back to me right away,” DeNuccio said. “We had a great relationship and they made you feel wanted. That was the starter.
“When I visited the school, the academics are very important and they have an awesome physics program,” DeNuccio added. “I want to be an engineer, and they also have other paths to get to my goal. They have one of the most highly-rated physics program and that will challenge me and I’m looking forward to taking that challenge on.”
He also went to see a practice and liked the atmosphere that 14-year Head Coach Chris Schultz brings to the fore.
“Everyone out there was working hard but having fun, pushing each other,” he added. “The coach wasn’t barking, but encouraging players. That kind of atmosphere will fit me perfectly.”
After all, that is the atmosphere he enjoyed with the Monarchs the last two seasons. He had tested the waters in another Tier-2 league, but the family atmosphere brought him back to Hooksett, N.H., in January.
“The Monarchs were really a big family, and even Coach Frew’s kids were around the rink. You could just walk in and talk to the coaches anytime,” said DeNuccio. “Teams are most successful when they have close familial relationships.
“Hockey-wise, my defense improved. I always focused on defense, but it’s not just chipping the puck out. My defense has become stronger and I take it as a point of pride,” DeNuccio added. “The last year and a half, I’ve been settling into my own game and succeeding.”
The USPHL congratulates Trent DeNuccio, his family, the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs and SUNY-Geneseo for his commitment.