Tag Archives: College Commitments

NAHL Sets New College Commitment Record

For the fifth straight season, the North American Hockey League has broken its own commitment record, sending 312 players and counting to college over the past year. 16 past, present, and future Knights are among those committed to college to play hockey and receive an education:

Jeff Bertrand Penn State (Big 10, D1) *
Tyrone Bronte Bemidji State University (WCHA, D1)
Curtis Carlson Nichols College (CCC, D3)
Paul Cimilluca Wilkes University (UCHC, D3)
Justin Engelkes Miami University (NCHC, D1) *
Thomas Farrell Army (Atlantic Hockey, D1)
Anthony Firriolo Army (Atlantic Hockey, D1)
Mike Gelatt Skidmore (ECAC East, D3)
Greg Japchen University of Nebraska-Omaha (NCHC, D1) *
Matt Kidney Salve Regina (CCC, D3)
Paul Maust Mercyhurst College (Atlantic Hockey, D1) #
Mike Morrissey Colby College (NESCAC, D3)
Jack Olmstead University of Michigan (Big 10, D1)
Reed Robinson Niagara University (Atlantic Hockey, D1)
Christian Stoever Merrimack College (Hockey East, D1)
Gabe Temple Michigan Tech University (WCHA, D1) *
* 2019-20 ## Alumni

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Commitment Record-2018


Thomas Farrell Commits to Army

Photo: NAHL

Another Knight will be making the change from blue to black in the near future as Thomas Farrell made his commitment to Army official Thursday. The defenseman will head to West Point starting in the 2019-2020 season, joining the program at the NCAA DI level.

“I’m feeling a little better than good,” laughed Farrell shortly after making his commitment official. “Honestly, I went in there for a visit with an open mind. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve always looked up to the military. Now being a part of that, being a small part of that history and that family is a great honor.”

At 19, the right handed blue-liner has logged regular minutes atop the Knights defensive corps this season, picking up three goals and 22 assists in 55 games played.
“Thomas has been a staple for us this season,” said Knights head coach Tom Kowal. “We send him out there in all situations; power play, penalty kill, three-on-three, four-on-four, overtime, you name it, he’s out there. I can’t think of a better example than this past weekend. We were down to just four healthy defensemen for a three-game weekend. Thomas played a big part in helping us secure four out of six points, keeping us in the race for the #2 seed in our division. He logged a lot of minutes, and our confidence in him never wavered. We knew he had a high ceiling when we tendered him last year and he’s come in and exceeded our expectations.”
Farrell’s future team, the Army Black Knights, have built a proud history playing division one hockey dating back to 1903. Steered by head coach Brian Riley, the team and Army’s commitment to excellence caught Farrell’s eye.
“One thing I noticed when I stepped on campus while talking to the coaching staff and also the players there was that it was just an extremely dedicated and committed group of people,” he said. “I just saw it as a really great environment for me where I can excel and grow both on and off the ice with them. The leadership program there is awesome. It’s unlike anywhere else in the world. I’m very excited to say the least.”
Farrell will join current teammate and fellow defenseman Anthony Firriolo, who committed to Army earlier this season. The pair will begin their careers in the 2019-2020 season.
“I went on a visit there on Monday,” said Farrell. “I ended up going out with Anthony for lunch after practice on Tuesday. I kinda sat down with him and talked with him a little bit about the dedication and commitment after not only going to the school but also after the four years of education. There’s 17 branches of the military you can go into. It’s not just serving in the front lines. We talked about all the different programs, the student-to-faculty ratio which is awesome. It’s just a great environment.”
Farrell’s play stood out even as a tender pressed into duty last postseason when the Knights were depleted by injuries. As a regular in 2017-18, it didn’t take long for Farrell to establish himself as one of the league’s better defenders.
“I would consider myself a two-way defenseman,” he said about his game. “That’s how I believe I was scouted by Coach McKelvie, the defensive coach at Army. That’s what he was looking for and that’s a role I think I can fit into. With the Knights here in Wilkes-Barre I think I’ve been able to do a really good job playing defense first then also finding a way to get involved in the offense and doing well with that. Then off the ice, I would say that you’re just getting a kid that’s really put in the hours and the dedication to the sport. That’s what I’m all about, and I think I can bring that dedication and that commitment to the classroom as well. It’s just something I’m really looking forward to do.”
“Beyond just his talent, Thomas has been a regular starter for us due to his character on and off the ice,” said Kowal. “He works incredibly hard. Whether it’s practice or a game, he’s on the ice and then he goes right into the weight room. He’s constantly setting an example for the rest of our team to follow.”
Farrell’s performance in the first half of the year earned him a spot on the East Division’s top prospects team at the NAHL’s Top Prospects Tournament at the end of February.
“Hockey is a team sport,” he said. “That’s one of the most important things that you always gotta have in the back of your head. You can’t just do it all yourself. Anthony and I wouldn’t have these commitments right now if it wasn’t for our team we’re playing with every day on the ice, pushing us to the best of our ability. We’ve just been pushing each other to get as good as we can get and to get noticed. I think that the East Division has played a key role in that as well. This division is one of the fastest in the league. It’s had a key part in us getting noticed by West Point and getting me the chance to visit and figure out what the school is all about.”
As the the NAHL postseason draws near, Farrell’s commitment to school wont take away from his commitment to a Robertson Cup run. A three-game showdown with the Titans, beginning with two home games this weekend, could play a massive role in securing the Knights home-ice advantage heading into April’s tournament.
“We’re in a really tight race right now with the Titans for that home-ice advantage between the two and three seeds,” said Farrell. “The goal as of right now is to take it one step at a time. This weekend we’re trying to get a solid, at least two out of three against these guys. We want to really clinch that home-ice advantage so that we can go into the playoffs feeling good, with that home ice and take it control a little bit.”
Even with games still to play, perspective isn’t lost on Farrell or his coach.
“I want to thank Thomas for his contributions to the Knights at this point in his career,” said Kowal. “He’s been an asset as a player but more importantly as a teammate and person. Wherever he is next year, I know he’s got a bright future ahead.”
“I just want to shout out to my mom and dad and my sister Brooke,” said Farrell. “They’re the ones that I’ve been with my whole life. I love them, really a lot. I did it for them. They’re the ones that would get me up in the morning. They’re the ones I’d get to see every day and kind of inspired me to be the person I am today. Without them I don’t think I’d be having this conversation.”
The Knights congratulate Thomas on his commitment and thank him for all his hard work. The team has been made better by his drive, one that he brings with him everywhere he goes. The Black Knights are getting a good one.

Mike Gelatt Commits to Skidmore College

Just 217 miles separate Middletown, New Jersey and Saratoga Springs, New York, but Mike Gelatt’s hockey career has taken him much farther. Over 140 games played in the NAHL have sent him to destinations as far as Minnesota and Alaska, but have also allowed him the benefit of developing his game in and around his hometown. At the start of this week, the 1997-born forward committed to Skidmore College where the Thoroughbreds play NCAA DIII hockey in the NEHC conferrence.

“It’s a really nice area,” said Gelatt. “The town the school’s in, Saratoga Springs, is beautiful. It’s an awesome school academically, and they take their hockey seriously. That’s everything I wanted in a school.”

Gelatt will enter the college ranks after completing his 2017-18 season with the Knights, a team that’s been his home for the past two years.

“Mike Gelatt is a guy we brought in in our second season in the NAHL,” said Knights head coach Tom Kowal. “We had his brother on our blue line so we were familiar with the family, and Mike had played us a number of times with the New Jersey Titans. We saw a big-bodied, hard-working forward that could score. Mike’s been that for us over the past two years while growing into a strong leader in our locker room.”

“I would say I’m a big, power forward,” said Gelatt. “I like to hit, I like to get in deep and get involved on the forecheck. I’m maybe not the most skilled player, but I am a hard worker, and I think that allows me to be a good player.”

Gelatt grew up in Middletown, New Jersey, the home of the New Jersey Junior Titans hockey organization. When the program added a team in the NAHL in 2015, Gelatt quickly established himself as a regular, scoring seven goals and 20 points in his first 43 games. The following offseason he joined his older brother Tim with the Knights as a part of a draft day trade.

“It’s been fun place to play,” said Gelatt of his impression of the Knights. “It’s a great organization with a great group of players and staff. You get treated well as a player and you’re given freedom here.”

In two seasons, Gelatt has been a consistent source of grit and production, logging minutes on the power play and penalty kill, while upping his scoring to 26 goals and 35 assists in 96 games. He credits the NAHL for helping him grow as a player.

“The North American Hockey League is one of the top developmental leagues in the country,” he said. “I’ve grown so much here. It’s a league that makes you work hard for everything. There’s so much skill and really good players on every roster. You have to earn everything.”

“Mike’s a guy who’s sets a tone for our team,” said Kowal. “I think naturally you have our younger guys looking up to him, knowing that he’s logged a lot of games at the junior level. Mike’s a versatile guy, we’ve been able to pair him with a lot of other guys and get positive results. That’s a valuable player and person to have in your building, and we’re happy that he’s been a Knight for the past two years. I’m excited for him, and look forward to rooting him on as he progresses through college and life.”

With the final month of the regular season underway, Gelatt and the Knights are looking to finish the year out strong as they prepare for a playoff run.

“I want to see each and every one of the rest of our ’97’s commit to a division-I program,” he said. “Of course on the ice, our goal is to win a Robertson Cup, and to do that we have to carry the way we played this past weekend the rest of the way. I’m excited.”

With such a strong family and support team that have helped him throughout his journey, Gelatt was sure to acknowledge those closest to his journey.

“First and foremost I want to say thank you to my family,” he said.  “I’d also like to thank Coach Tom, Coach Whiteside, Dr. DeNaples, the Titans organization that I grew up with, and Mr. Randy Walker, who all made this possible.”

The Knights would like to congratulate Mike for his commitment and all the hard work he has put into his Knights career. As he advances forward in his career and beyond, the Knights will be rooting for him each step of the way!


Knights Tender, Alaska Oilers Forward Jeffrey Bertrand Commits To Penn State

The Knights would like to congratulate tendered forward Jeffrey Bertrand who has committed to Penn State University for the 2020-2021 season. The Anchorage, Alaska native has impressed through six games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, joining the team for games against Fairbanks, Kenai River, Johnstown and New Jersey.

“Jeffrey has been a steady player for us in the time we’ve been able to have him on our team,” said Knights head coach Tom Kowal. “He comes as advertised-he’s a strong, two-way player with a lot of size, speed and grit to his game and he’s applied that well in his brief time with us in the NAHL.”

When not with the Knights, Bertrand continues to develop his game with the Alaska Oilers U16 AAA program, having  recorded nine goals and 25 points in 29 games this season. Bertrand’s play both with the Oilers and in the NAHL have earned him recognition as one of top 2001-born prospects.

“We’re thrilled Jeffrey’s earned a commitment to Penn State, an elite college hockey program,” said Kowal. “Having seen his habits on and off the ice, along with his talent, it comes as no surprise. We are excited for his future there and within our own organization and we can’t wait for him to come aboard full-time.”

The Knights congratulate Jeffrey on his commitment and look forward to assisting his development as he moves forward with his hockey career!


Paul Cimilluca Commits to Wilkes University

Knights defenseman Paul Cimilluca committed to the Wilkes University Colonels on Monday. The 97-born defenseman will start his college career next year with the Colonels in their inaugural season in NCAA division III.

“I like that it was close to home,” said Cimilluca of Wilkes’ nearby campus. “It’s a college community, there are something like 10 schools around the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area and a lot of life. It’s a good place for a school, especially in division three. They’re a small school, investing in itself and their sports programs.”

The Colonels will be coached in their first season by Brett Riley, a former forward for Hobart College.

“Coach Riley is a young up-and-comer,” said Cimilluca. “He’s got an impressive history-he turned Albany Academy around in his last job. He comes from a great hockey family with a lot of ties to Army and the collegiate level. His father coached at Army and his grandfather coached both there and Team USA to a gold medal in the 1960 Olympics. Needless to say Coach Riley knows his hockey. He’s 100% all-in. That really was the biggest reason I committed to Wilkes.”

Cimilluca is in his second season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights after being a  second-round selection in the Knights 2016 NAHL draft class. The New Jersey native has compiled 15 points in 82 games with the team, playing minutes in all situations.

“Paul has been a great competitor for us from day one,” said Knights head coach Tom Kowal. “He brings a steady, physical game to our blue line and he enjoys challenging the other teams’ top players. That’s the attitude we want from our defensemen. As a veteran he’s also done a nice job introducing younger guys on our team to the style of play and toughness that is needed to play in the NAHL.”

“I owe it all to the NAHL,” said Cimilluca. “They’re arguably one of the best leagues in junior hockey. The top-end teams can compete with teams in the USHL. You have a lot of older junior players that are going to be division one or high-end division three guys. I think that really helps me heading into college, having competed against guys who will be playing at the same or higher levels of hockey. Battling against D-I guys like Jack Olmstead, Tyrone Bronte, Reed Robinson, Justin Engelkes, Anthony Firriolo, Gabe Temple every day in practice-that’s been the best thing for me. It gives me a lot of confidence, knowing I’ve prepared myself against that level of talent.”

Cimilluca will finish out his final months as a junior hockey player with the Knights, a team hungry for success in their third year in the NAHL. He is committed to helping them achieve the highest of their goals.

“I want to be a Robertson Cup Champion, plain and simple,” he said.

“I’m proud to see Paul commit to Wilkes,” said Kowal. “They’re getting a strong player and leader for their first NCAA season and beyond. With him going to school just a few minutes away, it won’t be hard to root for Paul. I look forward to following his college career!”

“I’d really like to thank all the coaches that helped me get to this point in my career, especially Hockey Essentials, The New Jersey Avalanche organization, Bloodline Hockey, and the WBS coaching staff,” said Cimilluca. “I’m looking forward to making an impact at Wilkes University.”

The Knights organization is happy to congratulate Paul on his commitment and thank him for his years of hard work and play on the ice. They are excited to root for him throughout his collegiate career!

Ethan Crake Commits to Lindenwood University-Belleville

Former Knights forward Ethan Crake announced his commitment to Lindenwood University-Belleville over the weekend. The native of West Pittston, PA spent the 2016-17season with the Knights in the NA3AHL. He recorded four goals and 9 assists in 33 games.

“I was just some kid off the street,” joked Crake. “Coach Fusco brought me on and helped develop me pretty well. Our team was a great mix of having fun but also being able to take the game seriously.”

The 1998 birth year will join Lindenwood University-Belleville in Lindenwood, Illinois next season. The Lynx are headed by former NHL goalie Lindsay Middlebrook. After a few successful seasons in ACHA division II, Belleville made the transition to the NAIA level of hockey this season.

“From the second I walked in, I knew it was a welcoming place,” said Crake of his visit to the university. “It’s a nice facility, right in Illinois, a cool small school. The coaching staff was easy-going and seemed easy to talk to. The team was really cool, and really came across as a great group of guys.”

“I’m a gritty player,” said Crake of his skillset. “I’m play a grimey game. I think that will transition to the ice and off of it. It’s something I think won’t always show up on the scoresheet, but then sometimes it will. That’s what I’ll bring to their team.”

Crake’s former coach, Josh Fusco, was happy to hear of his former player’s commitment.

“As a coach it’s always great seeing a player you had move onto the next stage in their careers and lives,” he said. “I’m very happy to see Ethan pursuing his dreams and having success. I wish him all the best and good luck in his future.”

“I want to thank my parents, first and foremost,” said Crake. “But I wanted to especially thank coach Fusco. He was a great coach to play for and he even had me in this past summer, helping me in the weight room, keeping me ready to keep playing hockey.”

The Knights congratulate Ethan on his commitment and look forward to rooting him on as he continues on with his career!

Jack Olmstead Commits to Michigan University

On Wednesday, Knights forward Jack Olmstead committed to the University of Michigan. The ’98 birth year is Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s leading scorer through 25 games, helping the team to a 16-6-3 start.

Olmstead’s future home is rich with hockey history. The Michigan Wolverines lead NCAA Division I with nine national championships over their 91-year existence, but you don’t have to tell Jack.

“It means everything,” he said. “I️ grew up a die hard fan, going to Michigan hockey games; from going down to the GLI every year, to rooting for the football team. I’ve always loved the atmosphere. Everything about the program is top notch. The coaches, the players, the trainers, the strength coach, just everything. The moment I️ stepped on campus I️ knew it was a special place. It’s really hard to put into words the feeling. It’s just a dream come true.”

Michigan hockey alumni include Stanley Cup Champions, Hobey Baker winners, and dozens of NHL players. Olmstead is excited to get to work.

“I️ feel I️’ll bring skill and heart to the team,” he said. “The guys in the program are world class hockey players. I️ want to be a great player obviously, but being a great teammate is also important to me.”

The forward has taken the NAHL by storm in 2017-18. Olmstead’s 13 goals and 12 assists in 23 games leads his team in points and is second-most among all NAHL rookies. His +13 is the fifth-highest total in the league, while his 1.09 points per game ranks eighth among players who have played in at least 10 games.

“We were excited when Jack signed a tender agreement with us last year,” said Knights head coach Tom Kowal. “The game film and the score sheet will tell you he’s a really skilled forward. But what I think says the most about Jack is how many guys on our team want to share ice time with him.”

Olmstead has been deployed across all lines and scenarios this season, including splitting time at center and wing, playing on the power play and penalty kill, and in overtime and the shootout, wowing with jawdropping goals along the way.

“He’s hard to keep out of the rink,” said Kowal. “He’s here a lot-taking extra ice time, practicing his shot, helping teammates, doing the right things to help himself and his team improve. Michigan isn’t just getting a really good hockey player-they’re getting a really good person.”

“Playing in the NAHL has helped me a ton,” said Olmstead. “Just competing against bigger, faster, stronger guys has helped me grow a lot as a player. Everyone in this league can play and think the game at a very high level. My teammates and coaches have also pushed me every day in practice to be the best I️ can be.”

While he continues to develop and improve his own game, the Knights are aiming for a Robertson Cup this season. Olmstead is concentrated on helping his team achieve that goal.

“Obviously we only have one goal, and that’s to win it all,” he said. “We feel like we have the right coaching and the right team to make a run and win a Robertson Cup. Individual success comes directly from team success. We know what kind of team we have and what we are capable of achieving.”

Through it all, the Olmstead has stayed grounded and appreciative of those who have helped him reach this point.

“I️ want to thank everyone that’s helped me out,” he said. “My teammates and coaches have been monumental to me thus far. Coach Kowal gave me a chance to come in and play this year for the Knights and he’s been a great mentor and coach for me.”

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights congratulate Jack on his well-deserved commitment and appreciate his continued devotion to the organization’s success. They are eager to follow his career in the blue and gold and wish him all the best!

Elijah Latimer Commits to St. Thomas University

Elijah Latimer is heading west. The long-time Knights defenseman has committed to St. Thomas University to play division three college hockey in Minnesota this fall.

“I loved the school when I visited this past season,” said Latimer. “The school, the coach, the team-all of it impressed me.”

The Tommies, who play out of St. Paul, Minnesota, are guided by head coach Jeff Boeser. In his tenure, the team has posted an impressive record of 109-54-22 dating back to 2010. The program has a proud tradition of sustained success, having qualified for the NCAA tournament 16 times since 1983, including two National Championship appearances. Latimer looks to fortify a blue-line that saw three of its members graduate this spring.

“Elijah has grown up with the Knights,” said Knights NAHL head coach Tom Kowal. “He’s been here since day one. He’s made progress every year and had success at every level of our organization. He has a skillset that he’s worked hard to improve, and it’s one that will transfer well to the college level.”

His earliest coach with the Knights echoes these sentiments.

“I coached Elijah from PeeWee to U18,” said Alex Vasko. “He’s always been an excellent backward skater, and there was no question he was going to be best as a defenseman. He’s got excellent positioning, home defense and outstanding skating skills.”

After affiliating with the Knights NAHL team in the 2015-16 season, the 2016 draft pick brought a stabilizing presence to the Knights NAHL defensive corps this past year.

“We always look for our affiliate players to make an impression when we first bring them up to the NAHL level,” said Kowal. “Elijah was someone we were very familiar with and confident in our first year in tier-II. When we gave him a few games in the NAHL, he didn’t disappoint. This past season we drafted him, knowing we were getting a good fit. We were able to lean on him throughout the year to provide us with a strong two-way game.”

Over 54 games this past season, he scored one goal and seven assists, while playing a lot of minutes in a variety of roles. The experience was one he believes has improved his ability and prepared him to play in college.

“The NAHL is such a tough league and we play in a strong division,” said Latimer. “It puts you up against some really athletic players and challenges you in a lot of ways. I think it definitely made me a better player for it.”

The next challenge will be adjusting to his new home, as the long-time local of Northeast Pennsylvania will get settled in St. Paul.

“It’s a little bittersweet,” said Latimer of the upcoming move. “Just having been here so long, it’ll be different playing somewhere else, but I’m excited for the new experiences college will bring.

Reminiscing all the good times is easy for Latimer, but picking out a single favorite memory proved to be a bit harder.

“We won a lot,” said Latimer of his many years with the Knights. “Probably the best memory was winning the National Championship.”

Latimer’s name is inscribed on a banner hanging inside the Revolution Ice Centre, commemorating the organization’s USA Hockey National Championship in 2012.

“Elijah was part of my Bantam Major team that won the National Championship in 2012,” said Vasko. “He spent two years playing on the same line with Ivan Provorov and was great.”

With all the success that he’s had with the Knights, Latimer was quick to recognize those who helped him reach that goal and others throughout his career.

“I want to thank the ownership of the Knights, they’ve helped me so much. Alex Vasko has been a coach to me from the beginning and has taught me a lot and I’m really grateful for that.”

As Latimer departs, the Knights say goodbye and good luck to one of their most tenured veterans, and the organization is happy to have had him as a member.

“I have always seen a lot of potential in Elijah as a player and that was with him playing on a team with Ivan Provorov, Daniel Sprong, Denis Smirnov and Nikita Pavlychev,” said Vasko. “I am very happy for him and wish him the best of luck.”

“It’s going to be odd not having Elijah here,” said Kowal. “He’s been an asset to us on and off the ice, and we’ve all gotten to know him well. I’m proud of how far he’s come and know he’ll be successful wherever goes. We wish him all the best.”

Valentine Commits to Miami of Ohio

From the first puck drop of their program’s tier-II existence, Grant Valentine has been there to witness the growth of the Knights organization. It’s fitting that the members of the organization could say the same about their most tenured netminder, one who’ll be playing division one hockey next season. Valentine, a native of Medina, Ohio announced his commitment to Miami University of Ohio, Monday.

“Grant was our very first NAHL tender,” said coach Tom Kowal. “To watch him from where he started to where he is now, making a commitment to a division one school-that’s an extremely rewarding feeling.”

In his second season in the NAHL, the Knights goalie has already more than doubled his number of tier-II starts in net. With the benefit of experience, Valentine’s numbers have soared in his 2017-18 campaign. In 39 games played, he’s recorded a 2.82 GAA and a .912 save percentage.

“There has been a lot of opportunity here,” said Valentine. “Going through losing a bit when I first got here and getting a lot of time in goal-it’s really helped me develop. The coaching has been great. They’ve really allowed me to mature on and off the ice. I feel I’ve grown a lot.”

Currently second in minutes played in the league, Valentine has been a trusted option that the Knights have heavily relied upon in their second year in the NAHL. Just last week he was named east division star of the week for a three-game span that included a shootout victor and a shutout while compiling a 1.64 GAA and a .943 save percentage.

“Grant has been a big part of our success this season,” said Kowal. “He’s having a really good year; we’ve given him a lot of minutes and he’s rewarded us with a lot of positive performances.”

With his 18 wins ranking just outside the top five amongst goalies in the NAHL, it’s easy to see why a place was available for him at Miami.

“Just the Brotherhood-the chance to be a part of something bigger than yourself,” said Valentine on what sold him on the Redhawks program. “It’s an excellent school, the hockey program is great and it’s a great college town-really it’s the total package.”

Miami of Ohio has produced its fair share of successful hockey alumni. More recent graduates include but are not limited to Andy Greene, captain of the New Jersey Devils, Alec Martinez, owner of the game-winning goal that propelled the LA Kings to a Stanley Cup victory over the New York Rangers in 2014, as well as names like Reilly Smith, Chris Wideman, Tommy Wingels and Jeff Zatkoff among others.

Before Valentine begins the process of adding his name to such a list, he’s focused on his current his team, and bettering their chances at chasing an NAHL championship.

“We have a really good group here,” he said. “I’m comfortable in my role. I know the guys in front of me are going to do their job, so it’s up to me to do mine. With my college commitment made I’m just focused on doing my part to make a run at a Robertson Cup.”

The Knights are in the process of rounding out their final five contests of the NAHL regular season. They’ve already qualified for the playoffs and will likely enter the postseason’s divisional rounds as the East Division’s fourth seed, meaning each series will see their opponent possess home ice advantage. Knights bench boss Tom Kowal isn’t worried.

“Having strong goaltending heading into the playoffs is a major key to success,” said Kowal. “Grant gives us a great option and a fighting chance heading into the postseason.”

For Valentine’s part, he’s ready to wrap up his Knights career on a high note, but hasn’t forgotten to appreciate those that have helped him along the way.

“I’ve enjoyed being part of the Knights-they’re a class organization that’s devoted to getting their players to play at higher levels of hockey,” he said. “I’m truly grateful to them as well as my family for helping me reach the next step of my career.”

Knights Alumni Eugene Fadyeyev Commits to Ohio State

Former Knights Eugene Fadyeyev has made his commitment to play hockey for the Ohio State Buckeyes division I hockey program.

Between 2011-2014, Fadyeyev played 77 games for the Knights for the organization’s Bantam Major team (AYBHL), and the 16U team (AYHL). In that stretch he scored a combined 46 goals and 79 assists, good for 125 points.

Since departing the Knights Fadyeyev scored has played for the Madison Capitols in both the NAPHL 18U and the USHL and represented the Ukraine U18 team in the 2014-2015 Word Junior Classic-18 D1B tournament.

The Knights would like to congratulate Eugene on his hard work and success and wish him the best of luck moving forward!