The United States Premier Hockey League is back for its second year of the tuition-free National Collegiate Development Conference, which saw a great first year with more than 120 college commitments from what was then an 11-team league.
The New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs join the NCDC team for this season, and all 12 teams are chomping at the bit to make Year 2 even bigger and better than last year’s successful inaugural season.
Syracuse Jr. Stars
Playoffs: Quarterfinal Loss
Outlook: General manager Nicole Kirnan Kelly expects that the Syracuse Jr. Stars of 2018-19 will be a showcase for new faces in the NCDC.
“People can expect our team to be younger this year, with many 2001-born players as top contributors,” said Kelly.
Top returning players: Kabore Dunn is an ’01 defenseman who closed out the 2017-18 season with the Stars after a strong season at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. “Look for him to anchor the defensive corps,” said Kelly.
Another late arrival last year was Dylan Rallis, a ’98 forward who joined from the Connecticut Jr. Rangers. Brandon Wilky (’98) joined from the Northern Cyclones.
“Dylan is a powerful forward who proved at the July showcase that he can be a top center on our team,” Kelly added. “Brandon Wilky (’98) adds energy and a high level of compete to the offense.”
Top newcomers: A pair of ’01 forwards are expected to wow fans and scouts. Longtime Star Trevor Bollinger comes up from the 16U squad the last two years, and “it will be exciting for the staff to see his continued growth.”
Belarussian Alex Kostserau joins as a big ’01-born defenseman who last played for the Esmark Stars 16U team.
“He is a big defenseman who is very mobile and should provide offense for us,” added Kelly.