WALPOLE, MA -- The Walpole Express lead the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) in NCAA Commitments since the inaugural season back in 2013. A number of those players for the Express have worked their way through the system, starting with the organization's Eastern Hockey League Premier (EHLP) team and then moving on up. The Express organization prides themselves on developing their EHLP players to perform at the next level, and then move on to NCAA hockey. They've even had a small handful of players go straight from the EHLP to the college ranks.
“We’ve had a lot of success with our guys moving up the ladder here in Walpole,” said the Express head coach and general manager Jon Lounsbury. “We average eight guys per season moving up from our EHLP team to our EHL team. Over the last four seasons we have had over 25 of our EHLP players commit to NCAA programs. There’s no magic formula, but our development is built on trust, hard work, and attention to detail.”
Both Trevor Pray and Bryan Colburn played on a line together for Walpole’s EHLP squad last season, and they're are making a strong impact together again, but this time at the EHL level.
“I feel like my experience from last year has helped me prepare for this season for several reasons," said Pray, “It helped me get use to playing at a faster pace and more physical level of play than I was used to playing at. I was also able to play in key situations which has helped me adapt further this year.”
The New York native has shown that he can play at the EHL level with 19 goals and 33 total points through 41 games, and he was recently named the TSR Hockey Forward of the Week following a hat-trick against the Philadelphia Revolution this past Sunday.
The chemistry between the two linemates has helped out Colburn a lot this year as well. The '99 is second on the Express in scoring with 45 points to his name, and he gives his linemates a lot of the credit.
“My linemates have helped me grow a lot throughout this year.” said Colburn. “After playing with Pray last season, it was an easy transition into the next level. Wright already had the experience in the EHL, which made it easier for us to have success this year, building off each other each game. The chemistry between us gets stronger by the game.”
With an extra year of experience over Pray and Colburn, Eric Wright takes on the 'veteran' role for the unit. The native of California knows there is pressure that comes from this, but has found similar success at filling up the box scores with his name.
“We all just read off each other really well and it makes the game easier for us," said Wright. "Throughout the year it just keeps getting easier and easier to play with them."
The forward unite will look to finish the regular season strong and take the momentum into the playoffs with just seven games remaining on the schedule.
#11 - Trevor Pray (Photo Credit - Photos By Lex)
#4 - Bryan Colburn (Photo Credit - Photos By Lex)
#8 - Eric Wright (Photo Credit - Photos By Lex)
Photo Credit - Team Shred Photography