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.
Rochester Jr. Monarchs
Did not qualify for playoffs
Outlook: The Monarchs are not going to be anywhere near the 2017-18 Monarchs, according to first-year head coach Nick Unger, who moves up from the USPHL Premier to the NCDC.
“I’m excited. We have a good core of returning players that will make big steps forward, we added a lot of young players who play fast, and will be fun to watch,” said Unger. “I’m really excited about what we’re turning into.”
Top returning players: Wyatt Wilmhurst (‘98 forward) “has shown a lot of improvement in the off-season and will make a much bigger impact this year.” Towering Finn Viljami Kanerva (6-5, 214) also comes back as a ’98 blueliner.
Forward David Cohen (’98) is another returning player, and he did much for the team in the way of recruiting.
“He is invested in making Rochester a destination,” added Unger.
Top newcomers: Unger is excited about how the Monarchs will look in net, with the addition of ’99’s Dylan Weimer and Dawson Zimlich. Weimer is a local from Greece, N.Y, who last played for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres 18U team, and Zimlich hails from Topeka, Kan., and last played for the Dallas Stars AAA 18U squad.
A pair of former Northfield Mt. Hermon players, Kyle Valiquette and Sam Tober (both ’99’s), will electrify the forward and ‘D’ ranks, respectively.