New York Apple Core: Alum Santini should be early pick in NHL Entry Draft

New York Apple Core: Alum Santini should be early pick in NHL Entry Draft

New York Apple Core alum Steven Santini is living every player’s dream come true: a potential first round selection in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft on June 30.

He will be starting his collegiate hockey career at Boston College playing for coaching legend Jerry York.

“Steven is a dedicated, hard-working defenseman who can play the game any way he has to,” said Apple Core general manager Henry Lazar. “He is mobile, a big hitter and extremely smart with the puck. As a 16-year-old, Steve Jr. was driven the 70 miles each way from Mahopac, N.Y., by his father Steve Sr. to practice at Long Beach and he still did great in school.”

After his Apple Core season, Steven went to the U.S. National Team Development Program where he excelled on the 17U and 18U teams. He will be the Core’s ninth player to play in the NHL when that happens.

“His friends are hoping he will be drafted by an East Coast team, but Steve, mature as he is, just wants to play for whoever drafts him and believes in his talents,” Lazar added.

Alumni update: Former Core defenseman Willie Brown is the new head women’s hockey coach at Nichols College. Former coach Chris Cosentino, head coach of New York University’s American College Hockey Association (ACHA) club team, is the proud father of a baby girl. He is also excited that NYU may jump to NCAA Division 3 in the future.

Congratulations to other Apple Core alumni on their college commitments: Kevin Lohan (Michigan), Tyler Young (Williams), Sal Magliocco (Elmira), Colin Reilly (Colby), Kyle Zelanka (Penn State/ACHA) and Jordan Cosby (NYU/ACHA).

New league, new excitement: The Apple Core flagship junior team has joined with 17 other top organizations to form the Eastern Hockey League (EHL).

These 18 teams have sent over 1,000 players on to college and universities, and college coaches are extremely happy with the make-up of the league and the commitment to excellence.

The Apple Core Tier-3 development model will also consist of teams in the Metropolitan Junior League and in the USPHL’s Empire Division. The renovated Long Beach Arena will be completely ready for the start of the 2013-4 season with “just about new everything,” said Lazar.

“[Superstorm Sandy in October 2012] devastated both the rink and the community,” he added, “but the community is rebounding and the rink will look like new.”

The three Apple Core teams will be welcoming many new faces for the 2013-14 season and they will be introduced in our August article in USA Jr. Hockey Magazine.