State champ, NCAA champ and esteemed member of the 2019 Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins — those are cherished memories for Johnston, R.I., native Noel Acciari. But these days — once NHL action resumes — the gritty forward is a hard-charging, high-scoring member of the Florida Panthers. With 20 goals at the coronavirus-invoked hiatus, Acciari is enjoying his best offensive season as a pro, including back-to-back hat tricks in December.
As a freshman at Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick, R.I., Acciari won a state title. He was named Hockey East’s Best Defensive Forward for the 2014-15 season that culminated with his Providence College Friars winning the national title. After four stellar seasons as mostly a fourth-line two-way stalwart with the Bruins, he’s enjoying life as a leader for a Panthers team on the rise. NEHJ caught up with Acciari recently.