BOSTON, MA -- This past week, Mike McPherson of the Boston Jr. Rangers made his commitment to Plymouth State University for the Fall of 2018. With his decision finalized, the native of Somerville, MA joins a growing list of players who've worked their way up from the Eastern Hockey League Premier (EHLP), to the Eastern Hockey League (EHL), and then on to NCAA Hockey. The 2015-16 Most Valuable Player benefitted greatly from the year he spent in the EHLP.
"We just finished the third season for our development division, and the EHLP has grown tremendously since we we kicked things off prior to the start of the 2015-16 season," said Mark Kumpel, the EHLP's Director of Hockey Operations. "The intentions for the league were really quite simple, as we wanted it to help develop the players for the next step up our ladder. The numbers speak for themselves as more and more players continue to go from the EHLP, to the EHL, and on to NCAA Hockey."
In the first season of the league (2015-16), the EHLP saw a handful of players make their commitments to NCAA programs, including players such as Ray Feeley and Ryan Wagner. Since that season, the EHLP has put together back-to-back years of 15+ NCAA Commitments. While there have still been some direct EHLP to NCAA Hockey commitments, the majority have followed the EHLP-EHL-NCAA pattern.
Below you'll find a combined list of NCAA Commitments from the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. Highlighting just this past season in particular, a record 32 EHL players with EHLP experience, made their NCAA Commitments for this upcoming Fall.
BOSTON, MA -- The Eastern Hockey League Premier is pleased to announce that Jake Drucker (New England Wolves), Anthony Shrum (Philadelphia Revolution), and Wes Gilbert (Central Penn Panthers) have been named the 2017-18 Student-Athletes of the Year. Each player turned heads both on the ice and off the ice, exemplifying the idea of being a 'student-athlete.' Whether it was community service hours, or additional time spent studying, each individual set themselves apart from the rest. For this year's new award in the EHLP, each team submitted their own candidate and the league officials determined the final award winners.
"Just like our new Humanitarian Award, we sought out to find a way to honor some of the top individuals in the EHLP," said Mark Kumpel, the EHLP's Director of Hockey Operations. "Our organizations are helping these players grow as young men, and much of this growth takes place away from the rink. Of course what takes place on the ice is important, but all the college coaches also ask about what takes place when our guys aren't playing hockey. The college coaches are looking for players who will help them win hockey games, but also earn an education while they play. These three individuals all have very bright futures ahead of them, because they are dedicated to aspects of their life other than hockey. On behalf of the EHLP, I would like to congratulate Jake, Anthony, and Wes, for all the work they put in this past year."
LACONIA, NH -- Anthony Thurston, a forward for the New England Wolves, has committed to Framingham State University for the Fall of 2018. The '97 just finished his first season at the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) level, after spending the 2016-17 campaign with the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers at the Eastern Hockey League Premier (EHLP) level. The native of New York racked up 38 points in 41 games in the EHLP, and then 20 points in 46 games in the EHL.
When Thurston arrives on the campus of FSU, he will already know a pair of his teammates. Zander Allen and Rodahn Evans of the Wolves, are also part of the incoming class of freshmen for the Rams. Framingham State has now brought in over 20 players from the EHL, since the league was formed back in 2013.
Read the full story on the official website of the Eastern Hockey League.