SUDBURY, Ont. – As the off-season rolls along, players from the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League continue to make commitments to compete at the next level.
The defending NOJHL champion Hearst Lumberjacks have seen three of its players commit to collegiate programs in the U.S., starting in the fall.
League regular season and playoff Most Valuable Player, in Hearst goaltender Nicholas Tallarico, will be off to Adrian College in Michigan while standout forward Bradley Golant will attend the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn.
Both schools are members of the NCAA’s D-III Northern Collegiate Hockey Association.
The 21-year-old Tallarico, who hails from Vancouver, B.C., went 24-10-6 in regular season play backstopping the Lumberjacks to the NOJHL’s East Division title.
He followed that with a 12-6 record in the playoffs leading Hearst to their first-ever league championship.
Tallarico then concluded his Jr. A career by being named MVP of the Dudley-Hewitt Cup as he led the Lumberjacks to the title game.
As for Golant, the 20-year-old from Lakeville, Minn., was a over a point-per-game man for his side in 2018-19, registering 50 in 42 outings on 19 goals and 31 assists.
He then tacked on another 23 in 18 playoffs games by nothing nine markers and dishing out a league-leading 14 helpers.
In 114 combined NOJHL contests, Golant totalled 107 points, including 49 tallies.
Meanwhile, forward Daniel Fisher will attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas and skate with the Rebels program, who compete in the American Collegiate Hockey Association.
The 21-year-old Calgary, Alta., native saw action in 50 games with Hearst where he scored 11 times and dished out 21 assists for 32 points.
Fisher then chipped in with 11 more points in Hearst’s run to the championship when he had three goals and helped set-up eight more.
You also have the 2017-18 NOJHL champion Cochrane Crunch continuing to add to their list of players that have earned the opportunity to attend school and compete collegiately.
Veteran defenceman Eli Hernandez will also be off to the NCHA where he will attend Trine University in Indiana.
The 20-year-old from Anchorage, Alaska, skated in 70 NOJHL games for the Crunch where he helped bolster the squad’s back-end and chipped in offensively with 33 points that saw him pick up seven goals and 26 assists.
Among his 13 career playoff games, 12 came in 2018 as part of Cochrane going on to win their first league crown.
You also have talented three-year Cochrane forward Nicolas Flanders set to head to UNLV in Las Vegas to attend school and skate with the Rebels.
One of the best-ever to don a Crunch jersey, Flanders produced 121 points in 161 NOJHL games.
In that time frame, the 21-year-old from Pembroke Pines, Fla., scored on 43 occasions and dished out 78 assists.
Flanders, was also part of Cochrane’s 2017-18 championship team.
The Elliot Lake Wildcats also have one of their own, in forward Carson Andreoli, committing to play for Niagara University’s ACHA squad in New York State.
The 20-year-old from Toronto, set personal single-season highs in goals, assists and points with Elliot Lake this past season with nine, 11 and 20 respectively.
In all, Andreoli appeared in 113 league games, picking up 16 goals and as many assists.
You also have a member of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners, in Aiden Wagner, committing to Fredonia State, who are members of the State University of New York Athletic Conference.
From Langley, B.C., Wagner, 21, played the 2018-19 campaign with Kirkland Lake and dressed in a total of 29 outings where the forward collected 17 goals and seven assists along the way.