2014/15 Eastern Hockey League Team Introductions:
After a strong performance throughout the 2013-14 season in the Eastern Hockey League the Jr. Monarchs are back at it preparing for the 2014-15 campaign. Last year the Monarchs won the regular season championship only to fall in a deciding game five of the EHL Presidents Cup. The group is back and ready to earn their stripes and another shot at EHL glory. Head Coach/GM Ryan Frew has assembled a talented group of players with plenty of potential to hang in there with the best that the EHL has to offer. Frew has also added experience behind the bench as well with veteran coach Tony Dalessio named as his new assistant. This team has a mix of returning vets and a skilled group of newcomers that has the coaching staff hopeful that they have all the key ingredients to take another run at the cup that eluded them last year.
Leading the way for the Jr. Monarchs is ’96 forward Brent Beaudoin (Londonderry, NH) who was among the league leaders in points last season and is committed to Brown University (ECAC D-I). Beaudoin should be amongst the league leaders in point production again this year. ’95 Hunter Laslo (Irvine, CA) is another veteran forward who logged big minutes for last year’s team and will be looked upon in key situations again this season. ’94 Ryan Gandy (Culver, IN) and ’94 Nick Branchina (Summit, NJ) will be back for another campaign.
Junior hockey veteran ’94 Joey Palumbo (Rochester, NY) will begin the season on the IR but should be ready to go by mid to late October. Palumbo split time in Odessa and Corpus Christi of the North American Hockey League last year and will bolster the left wing side for the Monarchs. ’95 Luke Bennett (Rochester, NH) also comes from Corpus Christi but is no stranger to the Monarchs having played for Coach Frew in the Empire League years ago. Bennett brings energy, toughness and leadership to the line-up. Prep School star ’95 Luke Babcock (Hampton Falls, NH) comes by way of St. Paul’s school where he led his team to the Prep School finals last season and will be looked upon for instant offense on the front lines. Prep School standouts ’95 Patrick Bartolomucci (Hudson, QC) via Vermont Academy and ’94 John Kowalewski (Philadelphia, PA) via the Lawrenceville School will add depth up and down the line-up. ’96 Mike Thomson (Reading, MA) and ’96 Jamie Bucell (Garfied Heights, OH) were both top point producers in high school and will be looked upon for their offensive skill and two-way play. ’96 Ross DeLaBruere (Derby, VT) and ’95 Connor Jewett (Berlin, NH) are both skilled players that will look to transition to the Junior level.
Making the jump from the Monarchs midget programs are ’95 Brendan McDonough (Wilmington, MA) and ’97 Matt Steeves (Bedford, NH). McDonough played for the U18 team last season he is an offensive threat with good speed and excellent shot. Steeves is the youngest member of the team with exceptional offensive skill and great touch around the net.
The Jr. Monarchs return just two defensemen from last season. ’95 CJ Valerian (Gates Mills, OH) who is a great containment defender with an excellent stick who can contribute offense from the back end and ’95 Jonathan Grassie (Somersworth, NH) who is a steady two way defenseman who brings instant leadership to the blue line. Both players will be looked upon to carry important minutes all season.
’95 Garrett Geane (Fullerton, CA) is no stranger to junior hockey having logged important minutes in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League last season for the Steinbach Pistons. At 6’4, 207lbs, Geane brings toughness, strong defending and veteran experience to the Monarchs blue line. ’95 Trent Johnson (Rochester, MI) brings plenty of skill and smarts to the D corp. and is another veteran at the junior level having playing in Campbell River in the Vancouver Islands League last season.
’96 Patrick DeBlois (Lewiston, ME) and Zack Davis (Doylestown, PA) both played midget hockey last season and will be expected to jump in and contribute right away. ’95 Alex Joscelyn (Bow, NH) was a standout for the Monarchs USPHL Elite team last year. Joscelyn is a steady, stay at home defenseman who should make the transition seamlessly. ’95 Braden Mitchell (Anchorage, AK) is another Monarchs midget player making the jump from the U18 team. Mitchell is a strong skater who plays with smarts and grit and will be playing key minutes from the start.
The battle in the nets for the Jr. Monarchs will be fierce with all three goalies showing strong abilities. ’95 Simon Leiva (Blainville, QC) was the starter at Vermont Academy last season and brings experience and skill between the pipes. EHL veteran ’94 Cole Burack (Rockwall, TX) plied his skills with the Boston Jr. Rangers last season and will garner his share of time in the crease while ’95 Josh Reinstein (Los Angeles, CA) was the starting goaltender for the Monarchs U18 team last season and will also push for time.
The Jr. Monarchs will be part of the EHL North division with their rival Northern Cyclones and EHL newcomers New England Wolves who will play out of Waterville, NH and the Vermont Lumberjacks out of Burlington, VT who relocated from Washington, DC (Washington Nationals). The team will play 44 league games including four league showcases.