Richmond Generals forward Zach Boulet commits to Castleton State University. The Spartans play at the NCAA Division III level of play in the NEHC Conference.
Zach has played for the Generals' USPHL Elite and Premier teams in his two seasons with the Generals. Zach has appeared in 48 regular games scoring 24 goals and adding 20 assists for 44 points with 35 PIM. Zach also has appeared in 12 playoff games, scoring 6 goals and adding 5 assists for 11 points with 6 PIM. Boulet was also a key piece in helping the Richmond Generals USPHL Elite team win the National Championship during the 2019 season.
Boulet on playing for the Generals: "The Richmond Generals organization has helped me develop into the player and person I am today both on and off the ice. The coaching staff was instrumental in helping my development while I played in Richmond and I cannot thank them enough for all they done for me in my time as a Generals player. The Generals program has prepared me physically, mentally, and emotionally to play at the NCAA College hockey level."
Zach becomes the 255th Richmond Generals player to advance to college hockey. Zach becomes the 22nd Richmond Generals player this year to commit to a college hockey program. He joins current and former Generals players, Tyler Kennedy (Neumann University NCAA Division 3), Luke Kangas (Finlandia University NCAA Division 3), Drake Semrad (Oswego State NCAA Division 3), Carter Jordan ( Wilkes University NCAA Division 3), Brenden Yingling (Lebanon Valley College NCAA Division 3), Nick Bernstein (Chatham University NCAA Division 3), Lex Friesen (Oswego State NCAA Division 3), Pietro Baccarin (Neumann University NCAA Division 3), Owen Noll (Alvernia University NCAA Division 3), Mason Hoehn (SUNY-Potsdam NCAA Division 3), Logan Gorbitz (Neumann University NCAA Division 3), Lukas Washco (New England College NCAA Division 3), Hogan Nelson (Salve Regina University NCAA Division 3), Josh Hixson (Lawrence Tech University ACHA Division 1), Dominic Hollister (Lawrence Tech University ACHA Division 1), Shaun Houk (University of Utah ACHA Division 1), Andrew Owens (George Mason University ACHA Division 1), Jackson Good (University of Kentucky ACHA Division 2 ),Rob Simmons (Weber State University ACHA Division 2), Camden Schanberger (Lake Superior State University ACHA Division 2).
The Richmond Generals continue to lead the USPHL in college commits with 22 players so far that have committed to an NCAA or ACHA College hockey program and school for next season. #RollGens
The Minnesota Moose of the USPHL Premier are excited to announce the college advancement of 2001-born forward Jackson Terpstra to Grand Valley State University.
GVSU is an ACHA D1 program playing out of Grand Rapids, Mich. The Moose are excited to see Jackson join teammate Tristan Avoletta to compete at the collegiate level with Grand Valley State University for the next four years.
Jackson Terpstra (Jenison, Mich.) joined the Moose this past 2021-22 after playing for another junior organization. He finished his career with the moose netting five goals and 15 assists for 20 points.
“We know as a staff that going into a season, we have to find the right pieces for on the ice and in the locker room. We knew we got the right piece the day that Jackson walked into Fogerty Arena to start the season," said Moose GM/Head Coach Jon Jonasson. "He was a locker room favorite and showed poise on and off the ice. Jackson showed up ready to work every day for workouts, practices, and games no matter what the task was at hand. He was a huge part of our success in our late season push as he kept pushing everyone else in the locker room. The staff is out now looking for a player with the character that Terpstra has for next season and know he will be next to impossible to replace.”
“This past year coming from a different league to the USPHL Premier to play for the Moose was the best decision I believe I could have made," said Terpstra. "The Moose put everything into my brothers and I so we could go out and battle every day for what we loved. I'll forever be grateful I had the privilege to pull a Moose sweater over my head. Once a Moose Always A Moose.”
When the Minnesota Moose Junior Hockey Club started in 2017, the goal was to see players move on to the next level of hockey and begin the next chapter of their lives as young men and student athletes. Since the inception of the Minnesota Moose, there have been over 80 players that have gotten the opportunity to play at the next level from NCAA Division I to Tier 2 Junior Hockey.
The goal has always been to move players to the most reputable programs at whatever level suits their needs most. That depends on academics, coaches, campuses, the hockey, the balance of lifestyle etc.. Once a player dawns that Minnesota Moose jersey on Day 1 of training camp, they know that they will be taken care of, have an opportunity to chase a championship and have every door opened as possible to move on to Collegiate hockey (NCAA/ACHA D1) or Tier 2 Junior.
The Minnesota Moose have been one of the top teams in the USPHL Premier and Midwest West for the last five seasons since their inception in 2017, with 80+ advancements, a 186-59-10 overall record since 2017, four trips to the National Tournament and two Division Championships.
Players interested in playing for the Minnesota Moose next season or beyond can visit the website at www.minnesotamoosehockey.com or reach out to Head Coach and General Manager Jon Jonasson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forward Erik Brink will head across the Rocky Mountains and has committed to Weber State University in Utah for the 2022-23 season.
“I felt it was time for me to take the next step in my life and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to go to Weber State to play hockey and earn my degree,” gushed Brink.
His commitment marks a precipitous climb over the past two years - he hadn’t played hockey in nearly 18 months before arriving at Eagles’ main camp in August as an invitee.
“I quit hockey for a year and a half and this organization showed me why I loved the game so much in the first place,” he said.
The Greeley, Colo., product not only made the team, but he played big minutes and developed his scoring touch as the season progressed. Brink was in and out of the lineup for the first month of the season, but quickly rounded into form. His six-game point streak in December was punctuated by four points (1-3-4) at the Chicago Showcase, cementing the rapid rise of the physical forward.
“Erik grew this season with us and we saw him tap into his potential,” remarked Head Coach/General Manager Steve Haddon.
The forward finished with 18 points (8-10-18) in 35 games, good for second amongst Eagles’ rookies. However, it was Brink’s first career goal versus arch-rival Pueblo that embodies the player that Haddon believes will find success at the next level.
“[Erik] is at his best when he is playing that power forward game. Being physical and not over thinking decisions with the puck, letting his natural instinct kick in; it will allow him to play his best hockey,” he continued.
For his part, Brink can’t wait to join a Weber State (ACHA Division II) squad that has already inked four other Mountain Division commitments. Still, he made an emphatic point of thanking everyone that had helped him get to this point in his career.
“I would like to thank my parents for always supporting me and dedicating so much time to help me achieve my goal of playing hockey in college. My coaches and teammates over the years have been a second family to me and I am so grateful for the roles they have all played in helping me get to where I am today,” Brink concluded.
Entering their 10th season of existence, the Eagles have graduated over 100 players to college commitments in the United States (NCAA) and Canada (U-Sports), as well as professional contracts abroad. Eagles’ alumni dot the hockey landscape; playing in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL), Poland and Sweden.
If you are a player that is interested in joining the Eagles organization for the upcoming 2022-2023 season, please email Coach Haddon at email@example.com.
The recent college commitment for Elliot Van Orsdel is probably no surprise to anyone who knows him. The path was locked in when he moved as a youngster with his family to Eveleth, Minn., home of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
After 15 years honing his craft in the State of Hockey, Van Orsdel will visit the nation’s other hockey hotbed when he takes his act to New England, more specifically, the University of Southern Maine, this fall.
From a youth player to a member of a storied varsity hockey program, featured in a hockey documentary along the way and finally, taking his act to the State’s capital to play for the Minnesota Mullets junior hockey team, the journey for Van Orsdel has been epic.
The move to Eveleth started it off in his first year of school.
“I was extremely fortunate to grow up in an area with so much hockey culture,” recalled Van Orsdel in an email interview. “I moved up north from St. Cloud with my family right before kindergarten and didn’t have a clue what hockey was. It didn’t take but a day of school for me to come home begging to get a pair of skates.”
After playing his youth hockey locally, Van Orsdel lived the dream of any Minnesota-born youth, playing for his varsity hockey team, the Eveleth-Gilbert Golden Bears.
“We didn’t have the numbers some schools had, being from a small town, but the passion was unmatched,” said Van Orsdel adding the unorganized matches of his youth were as memorable as the ones in front of spectators.
“I still remember packing my backpack for school with my skates, so all of us rink rats could play pond hockey until sundown. Some of my best memories are playing out on the rink. It was a place to escape and just have fun.”
Playing youth and high school hockey with the same jersey worn by local legends like Mark Pavelich, a member of the Miracle on Ice team or earlier, John Mayasich, another local that found success with the US Olympic teams in 1956 and 1960, was an honor for Van Orsdel.
“The games were always electric, especially in my latter years of high school,” said the 6’2,” 180-pound forward. “As I got older, we got better and with Eveleth being such a small town, the whole community supported us. I am thankful and proud to be a Golden Bear.”
Following his junior season, Van Orsdel took some big strides in shaping the next stage of his career, beginning with a 10-game stint with the Minnesota Iron Rangers from the Superior International Junior Hockey League, a Tier 2 junior circuit that includes teams from Minnesota and Wisconsin as well as Northwestern Ontario.
“We had a local team and when my junior year ended, I wanted to keep playing. I was lucky enough to know the coach and earn a spot on the Iron Rangers. It was definitely an eye opener. At the time I had never seen hockey like that," said Van Orsdel of his time in the SIJHL. "Coming from a Single A high school to what looked to me like grown men, I was shocked. I learned a lot from that experience though. I saw the intensity and passion of junior hockey before I even graduated which was helpful down the line. I am glad I got to call myself a Ranger for those 10 games.”
The other saw him playing in the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League, a high caliber group of teams that play a short but intense schedule leading up to the varsity high school seasons.
“I was fortunate to make what we call ‘Elite League.’ The Best of Minnesota and Wisconsin in a summer-long tournament. Just on my team alone, we had 6-8 D1 (College) commits. I grew a lot that off-season between Elite League and SIJHL. I could tell coming into my senior year, I was the best I had been to that point, and it paid off.”
It sure did as Van Orsdel returned to his final season of varsity, putting up 21 goals and 50 points in 25 games, adding three more in a pair of playoff contests.
“We ended up having some great wins,” said Van Orsdel. “The best one was against Greenway who finished second in state the season before. It was a hell of a game, topped off by my goal in overtime. We had never beaten them, so it was a great feeling for all of us seniors.”
Some of those exploits were captured in a hockey documentary film called Hockeyland, which was released to theaters in 2021.
Van Orsdel was a key figure in the movie and counts it as another great experience the sport has brought him.
“It was quite the experience for sure,” said Van Orsdel. “I was hesitant at first, having a camera on you for months, everywhere you go from school to the rink. It was strange, but I’m glad I did it. The movie was unbelievable, so emotional and real. I’ll never get back those moments with my teammates, but we are lucky our whole senior year was captured on film. I think as I get older, I’ll come to appreciate it even more.”
Van Orsdel finally had to leave his small town to take the next step and moved to the heartbeat of the State of Hockey, playing in the Twin Cities for the Minnesota Mullets. He clearly made an impression on Head Coach Chris Walby who gave the forward a ‘C’ for his jersey and the responsibility of helping man the ship as the squad moved on from the graduation of many aged-out players.
In two seasons with the ‘Mullies,’ Van Orsdel played 78 games, potting 26 goals and collecting 90 points.
“We were a great team together. I learned a lot from Walbs,” said Van Orsdel. “He’s a great coach but more importantly, a great person. I always found myself to be a leader, not in a selfish way, but simply trying to help the team in any way possible. I’m passionate and competitive. I can’t turn that off.
“We weren’t just a team, but a family and that directly stems from Walby’s influence. We played for each other as a family and that’s how you create accountability. I can’t thank Coach Walby enough. I am honored to say I was captain of the Minnesota Mullets.”
The admiration goes both ways as Coach Walby, ironically a one-time coach for the Iron Rangers as well was a coach and a huge fan of Van Orsdel from the moment he put on the burgandy, yellow and white jersey.
"Elliot was incredible here for us," said the coach. "When entering the rink, he has the 'switch' that I always talk about. Every time he enters the rink, he's ready to prove that he and his team are the best on the ice that night.
He competes each game and leads the way. I've enjoyed every moment being his coach and love how much he loves this team. I am grateful for his role as a leader and the positive impact he brought to the program. As a captain, he motivated us as a group and led the charge. He is one of the toughest competitors I've coached and a talented hockey player.
"Elliot is extremely bright and I enjoyed that during each of our discussions, texts, phone calls and meetings. I am proud of the man he has become, forever grateful for the opportunity to be a part of his journey and I can't wait to watch his hockey career continue at a fantastic school."
This past season, Van Orsdel drew plenty of attention from college scouts and his decision will take him to the east coast.
“There were a lot of schools that reached out, but Southern Maine seemed like the best fit for me. I’m ready for the next step in my education and hockey career and USM gave me the best opportunity for that to happen,” said Van Orsdel who took Community College courses while still in high school. I achieved my AA degree, so I plan to jump right into a Business Analytics Degree.”
Of course, there will be another jump in the level of play at the rink, but Van Orsdel has clearly been able to adapt to anything thrown at him so far.
“Of course, I don’t expect it to be easy at all,” said Van Orsdel. “There is a plethora of new experiences to face, not only on the hockey side of things, but educationally as well. As far as the hockey, it’s bigger and faster. I’m confident in my ability to adapt but not going into it like it’s a cakewalk.”
Looking back on the road he has taken so far, several coaches and teammates have played a role, but Van Orsdel said there has been a constant in terms of support, ever since he went to them for that first pair of skates.
“Nothing I’ve accomplished is possible without the support and love from my parents,” said the points producing forward. “I can’t come up with the right words to thank them properly. From day one, they have been my number one supporters through thick and thin. I’m the luckiest person in the world to have the best parents anyone could ask for. They made me into the man I am today and gifted me with a beautiful, loving life. I am blessed for all they have done and continue to do.”
Opportunities always abound at the USPHL NCDC Combine Series, which has been run since 2019 to offer players the chance to skate in front of Tier II National Collegiate Development Conference coaches in Chicago and Detroit.
The knock on the door was loud and clear for Las Vegas native Ian Williams, whose performance at the Combine was so impressive that he was able to sign an NCDC Tender at the event, guaranteeing himself a spot at the Connecticut Jr. Rangers’ Main Camp and finding a spot on their 70-Man Protected List, which includes players certain to make the 2022-23 roster plus future prospects for coming years.
Williams, a 2003-born native of Las Vegas, Nev., was certainly happy with his choice to go to the USPHL NCDC Combine this year.
“I learned about the USPHL NCDC Combine series by looking up the NCDC camps online and saw the one in Chicago. I thought it would be a good opportunity,” said Williams, who attended the Chicago Combine held at the Fifth Third Arena in downtown Chicago, Ill., a facility that also serves as the Practice Home Of The Chicago Blackhawks.
“I had a positive experience at the combine. I got a lot of ice in and also some off-ice work,” he added. “The off-ice portion of the Combine was a nice addition to the usual game setup of combines and provided another opportunity to excel and stand out.”
The off-ice part of the Chicago Combine was run by Paul Goodman, who is the Blackhawks’ Strength and Conditioning Coach and also runs the Goodman Elite Training facility on the premises.
It was after his third of three guaranteed games at the Combine that Williams was approached by Connecticut Jr. Rangers Head Coach Jim Henkel.
“He approached me after my last game at the camp,” said Williams. “My individual performance at the Combine was good. I felt I played pretty well and I think my confidence and skills from the past two seasons developing in Wenatchee (not only with the U18AAA team but also with the time I spent participating in the BCHL practies) helped me stick out to the Connecticut staff.
“I thought it was a great opportunity and I enjoyed the camp a lot,” added Williams. “There were numerous scouts and coaching staff from all over the USPHL and NCDC in attendance, which is why you go to these things.”
Watch for the announcements for the 2023 USPHL NCDC Combine series in February 2023.
During Cristian Adragna’s two seasons with the Metro Jets, he always seemed to make something happen every time he hit the ice.
Now, the 20-year-old from Rochester Hills, Mich., will get to bring that passion and intensity to the college hockey world after recently committing to NCAA Division III Trine University, an NCHA school located in Angola, Ind.
“Trine appealed to me for so many reasons,” Adragna said. “I loved how the school was a close-knit campus and not scattered everywhere, the location and being close to home, as well as their hockey program and the way they run things. Making this commitment is a dream come true. As a kid growing up in the hockey hub Michigan is, it was a dream to play NCAA hockey, and having this opportunity in front of me is just beyond what I imagined.
“As a freshman, I hope I can fit in both in the classroom and on the ice easily. With Trine being a smaller school, I hope to establish relationships with all of my classmates very quickly. As for on the ice, I hope I can make an instant impact on the team. They had a very good season last year and I only hope I can help them go even farther into the playoffs this upcoming season.”
In the classroom, Adragna, who served as an alternate captain this season, is looking to major in Business.
“Academically I expect nothing but the best from Trine, and I can’t be more excited,” said Adragna. “Getting back into the swing of school will be fun. After two years of not being in a classroom, I think it will be awesome to get back to the student-athlete mentality and be the best in both worlds, the classroom and the ice.”
During his two seasons with the Jets, Adragna collected 34 goals and 86 points in 73 regular-season games, adding 11 goals and 15 points in 13 USPHL playoff games.
“Every year we are blessed to have players invest in themselves and the Jets to develop and advance,” said Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville. “Cristian was a different breed. He took it to another level and took what he did seriously. It was evident in his preparation, leadership and, naturally, his play. He is a player every coach wants on his team and every coach hates to play against. The attention he draws on the ice was impressive and his maturity to play through some of it was as well.
"Not only is he a bull on the ice, but he can score, play in all situations and back all of it up with his toughness. We were lucky to have him here and help him reach his goals, and Trine is lucky to have him for the next four. ‘Drags’ had many NCAA options, but ultimately chose Trine, and we wish him the best of luck."
“Cristian is so strong on his skates and his speed makes him an absolute force on the ice,” added Jets Associate Coach Jamie Lovell. “He really raised the level of his game during the playoffs, and it really showed during the national championship. We’re going to miss him, but Trine is getting a great character player for their program, and we wish him all the best as he starts the next chapter of his life and hockey career.”
Adragna said his time in a Jets uniform has “honestly been one of the biggest blessings in my life.”
“The entire coaching staff cares so much about the players and making sure they get what they need to succeed,” Adragna said. “There are honestly too many people to thank when it comes to this. From Pete Cammick to Coach Q, Jamie, (assistant coaches) Tina (Ciraulo), Randy (Wilson), and Dan (Pszenyczny) teaching us all season long, to Matt (Prieur) and Doug (Bailey) broadcasting our games, to Matt Mackinder with all of the media and announcing of games in the arena, I cannot thank them all enough.
"These people are what make the Metro Jets the Metro Jets. There is an unconditional amount of love that everyone has for each other in the organization which is why this place is so special.
“To all of the coaches, thank you for believing in myself and your players this season. I know I speak for the players of the organization when I say that you guys are the best thing that happened to us. To impact the lives of young boys and watch them become men is difficult to do, but you all managed to do so, and I couldn’t be happier that it was you guys that have been with us every step of the way. Being a Jet is more than just a jersey - it’s a way of life. So thank you from the bottom of my heart to this organization and all it has done for me.”
Going further, Adragna said he will miss being able to throw on the Jets jersey on a daily basis.
“What I will remember most about my time as a Jet are the relationships I made,” said Adragna. “Putting it into words just does not do justice to what all of these people mean to me, it just simply doesn’t. All of my teammates and coaches and experiences I had over my two seasons are the some of the greatest things that has ever happened to me.”
Off the ice, Adragna said his biggest supporters helped him realize his gift to play hockey has given him memorable junior hockey memories and more to come at Trine.
“I want to thank my entire family for everything that they have done for me on this long journey,” said Adragna. “The unconditional amount of love and support you guys gave me throughout this whole process is just amazing. I wouldn’t be able to do anything without them. I love you all more than you can know, so from the bottom of my heart, just thank you, all.”