By Steve Stein
Nick Lidondici was on the New Jersey Junior Titans’ radar. Now, he’s on the radar of college hockey coaches.
“He’s on many colleges’ short lists,” said George Haviland, who coaches Lidondici on the Junior Titans 16U National team that plays in the North American Prospects Hockey League and Atlantic Youth Hockey League.
Lidondici, a prototypical 6-foot-1-inch, 190-pound power forward from Matawan, N.J., had some impressive credentials in late December at the holiday break.
He had 15 goals and 13 assists for 28 points in 22 games in the NAPHL, four goals and eight assists in 14 games in the AYHL, and he played in the NAPHL 16U All-Star Game.
Haviland describes Lidondici as big and strong with remarkable speed for a guy his size and a great scoring touch. Those attributes have helped make him a familiar figure on Junior Titans special teams.
“He’s also a quiet leader,” Haviland said.
All that isn’t bad for a guy who made the 16U team during summer tryouts.
“I live only about 15 minutes away from the Junior Titans’ home rink [in Middletown, N.J.] and I’d always heard great things about their organization, so I thought it was time to try out,” Lidondici said.
Lidondici wasn’t a stranger to the Junior Titans when he stepped onto the ice for the tryouts.
“He was a local guy we’d been watching for a few years because he was an up-and-coming player,” Haviland said. “We’re glad he figured out the best path to play college hockey in our area is with the Junior Titans. Nick has opened some eyes this season. He’s created a buzz for himself.”
Haviland said academics won’t be a problem when it comes time for Lidondici to make his college choice.
“Nick attends a high school (Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, N.J.) that is strong academically,” he said.
Lidondici also is playing for the Christian Brothers hockey team. All that hockey is keeping him quite busy.
“It’s a difficult schedule because I’m on the ice every day, sometimes multiple times a day, plus there’s the travel for games and I still have schoolwork to do,” he said. “But I love hockey, and it’s fun being on the ice with the ‘brothers’ on my teams.”
Even though he’s gotten off a great start this season with the Junior Titans, Lidondici says there’s a part of his game he must improve.
Read past New Jersey Junior Titans articles in our archives: