Each September, hundreds of hockey players from across New England begin the grind of another junior hockey season. Some do it with college commitments in hand while others begin the journey with hopes of being able to add a college logo next to their name on the line chart.
Five players from New England, all born in 2002, have parlayed strong starts to the 2021-22 junior hockey season into Division 1 college commitments. Three of those players — Jake Black (Pomfret, Conn.), Thomas Messineo (Westwood, Mass.) and Jake Percival (Avon, Conn.) — have chosen to play college hockey at UConn.
It’s not unusual for there to be a lot of activity on the recruiting trail over the first few months of the season as college coaches get out to various junior hockey showcases. The NAHL, USHL and BCHL hosted showcases in September that were widely attended by every college hockey program in the country.