VJW Players Shine at 2009 USA Hockey Player Development Camp

The summer season is always a busy one for many Valley Jr Warriors players. While most players are enjoying a few months away from hockey, a handful of standout players took their game to USA Hockey Development Select camp held at several sites located across the country.

Headlining the summer camp this year was Alex Gacek, who was chosen for the 2009 U.S. Under-17 Select Team that will compete at the 2009 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament from August 18-22, in Fussen, Germany.

Gacek, who competed on the VJW’s U-16 team that captured the Massachusetts State Tier 1 Championship, took part in the Boys' Select 16 Player Development Camp that was held from June 26 through July 2 at the ESL Sports Centre in Rochester, NY.

The forward from Governor’s Academy is small in size – he stands at only 5-7 and 160 pounds – but he is one of the smartest players who always manages to be in the right position on the ice. His speed and agility around the net and his explosiveness in the neutral zone make him an all-around offensive threat.

As a result, the national coaches have had their eye on Gacek for many years as he is regarded as one of the best in the country at his position. His selection to the Under-17 Select Team simply proves that point.

“Being selected to represent the country at the Five Nations Tournament means that you are one of the best players in your age group in this country,” explained VJW Director of Player Development Fred Devereaux, who has been an NHL scout for the past 23 years, most recently with the Calgary Flames.

At the Five Nations Tournament, Gacek’s U.S. Under-17 Select Team will face off against teams from the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland and the United States.

2009 Boys Select 14 Player Development Camp
Rochester, New York
July 8-14, 2009

An impressive four members of Bill Franzese’s Bantam Major team competed – and competed well – at the 2009 Boys Select 14 Player Development Camp.  David Belluche, Brian Pinho, Shane Eiserman and Connor Brassard all traveled to Rochester earlier this month.

Pinho and Brassard participated on the Forest Green team which posted a tournament high of three wins and one loss. Brassard was one of the team’s top scorers as he registered a goal and two assists. Eiserman was also offensively dominant as he finished with one goal and four assists for the Red squad.

It is no surprise that the VJW ’95 Elites were well represented at the USA Hockey Player Development Camp. After all, the team enjoyed a memorable 2008-09 season in which it posted an incredible 28-0-1 record in the NEHL Bantam West division. The team scored 185 goals and allowed just 44 during that 29-game stretch.

2009 Boys Select 15 Player Development Camp
Rochester, New York
July 15-21, 2009

Also traveling to Rochester this past month were five members of the VJW ’94 team – Charles Donners, Brendan Silk, Ryan Fitzgerald, Michael Iovanna and Daniel O’Connor. Silk was one of the camp’s top offensive performers as he collected three goals and three assists in six games. Only one other player in the camp (which included more than 215 players)  scored more points.

Also coming through with strong offensive performances were Ionanna (2-0-2), Fitzgerald (1-0-1) and O’Connor (0-1-1).

A History of Excellence
The participation of so many VJW players at USA Hockey Player Development Camp simply underscores the fact that the Valley Jr Warriors program has become one of the top developmental programs in the region.

In its 20th season, many of the VJW’s mites and squirts that have participated in the early years of the program have since developed into some of the top college and professional players in the country.

For such a young program, the Valley Jr. Warriors boast an impressive number of players who have succeeded at the next level. Here are a few highlights:

14 Professional Players (NHL, AHL, ECHL, Europe)
18 players currently playing NCAA Division I Hockey for the 2008-09 Season (13 Hockey East & 5 ECAC)
40 players competing in Division III in the 2008-09 season
100+ NCAA Division I & III players that have graduated

Just last month, Chris Kreider, who began his career as a mite player for the Valley Jr Warriors, was selected as the No. 19 pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers. Kreider. According to the final Central Scouting Rankings, Kreider entered the 2009 NHL Entry Draft as the highest ranked high school player and the 14th overall among North American skaters.

In 2006, another VJW standout player – Joe Ryan – was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round (48th overall).

09-10 Winter Season
VJW U 16s Capture 2008 Massachusetts State Title
Valley Jr Warriors U-16s Capture Labor Day Title
Three VJW Teams Bask in NEHL Championship Victories
VJW '96 Selects Skate to Victory at Summer Cool-Off Tournament
Three VJW Teams Bask in NEHL Championship Victories
Valley Jr Warriors '99 Elites Capture WNS Title
Valley Jr Warriors '99 Selects Shine at WNS
King of What? - By Mike Lynch
Triumph and Courage - By Mike Lynch
Like Father Like Daughter; Alex Carpenter Is Carving Out Her Own Legacy
The Year to Remember Continues for Former VJW Player Chris Kreider
Valley Jr Warriors '96 Elites Shine at WNS
Keeping #5 Alive - By Mike Lynch
Tournament Action Returns to Haverhill in 2010
Magical Season Comes to an End for VJW '97 Elites at USA Hockey Nationals
A Class Act - By Mike Lynch
VJW U 16 II Team Skates to State Championship Win
VJW '97 Elites Loss Sets Stage for Third Day Showdown at Nationals
VJW '97 Elites Post 3-2 Win Over Columbus at USA Hockey Nationals
VJW '97 Elites Arrive in New York; Prepare to Take On Nation's Best
Former VJW Junior A Player Colin Mulvey Captures NCAA National Title
VJW '97 Elites Prepare for USA Hockey Nationals
Chris Kreider - Former VJW Standout - Leads BC to NCAA Tournament
Nothing is Impossible - By Mike Lynch
Valley Jr Warriors Excel at Labor Day Face-Off Invitational
Former VJW Junior A Star Cucci Shines in Hockey East Battle
Valley Jr Warriors '97 Elites Capture WNS Title
VJW Mite Selects Bask in NEHL Championship Glory
VJW '97 Elites Punch Ticket to USA Hockey Nationals in April
VJW '99 Selects Celebrate Mass State Select League Championship
VJW '98 Elites Capture New England Hockey League Title
Former VJW Junior A Standout Nets Year-End League Honors
Non Sibi - By Mike Lynch
What Can You Do For Brown? - By Mike Lynch
VJW Squirt Major Selects Make a Difference Both On and Off the Ice
VJW Squirt Major Selects Take Time to Help Others In Need
Valley Jr Warriors Coach Bob Sweeney Joins Beanpot Hall
Tewksbury Tough - By Mike Lynch
VJW Teams Battle For Titles at the 2010 JWK Holiday Tournament
VJW '98 Elites Jonathan Folsom Featured in Local Newspaper
Standing Tall - By Mike Lynch
VJW '98 Selects Capture Boston Jr Terriers Tournament Title
Taking the Pledge in 2010 - By Mike Lynch
Valley Jr Warriors '98 Elites Take On Bell Capital Cup Challenge
Former VJW Standout Chris Kreider & Team USA Are World Champions
Former VJW Star Kreider Named to the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team
VJW '97 Elites Take Their Game to Canada
Holiday Shopping List - By Mike Lynch
Haverhill Valley Forum Enjoys Its Fourth Year of Operation In Style
Eastern Junior Hockey League Featured in Recent USA Hockey Magazine
Walking Tall - By Mike Lynch
Former VJW Players Shine On Collegiate Scene
Call to Glory - By Mike Lynch
14th Annual Warrior Classic Comes to a Close
VJW Teams Battle at Mass State Championship Playdowns
Riki Retelle Earns EJHL Defensive Player of the Week Honors
VJW Teams Set For Mass Hockey Tier I & Tier II State Championship Playdowns
Valley Jr Warriors Junior As Enjoy Weekend Sweep Over CD Selects
Welcome Home - 4 VJW Teams Return After Strong Showing in Chicago
Courage - By Mike Lynch
VJW Teams Poised to Face the Best of the Best
VJW Junior A Team Making Big Strides
VJW U-16 IIs Continue Winning and Championship Ways
The Golden Tornado - By Mike Lynch
VJW '95 Elites - Picking Up Where They Left Off
Steve MacAdams Brings Experience & Success to VJW
USA Hockey Announces H1N1 Recommendations
No Early Season Jitters for the VJW '98 Elites
Great Expectations - From Mike Lynch
VJW Mite Minors Off to a Fast (and Fun!) Start
VJW '99 Selects Make a Difference On and Off the Ice
VJW U-16 Midget Standout Brian Ward Heads to Dartmouth College
VJW Teams Post Impressive 5-1 Record Against Team Comcast
VJW '96 Selects Skate to Victory at Summer Cool-Off Tournament
Tom Terrific - Mike Lynch Reflects on Tom Brady
Valley Jr Warriors '98 Elites Capture WNS Title
VJW - Junior A Season Preview
A Happy New Year From Mike Lynch
VJW's JJ Layton Heads to Little League World Series
Jul 19, 09
VJW Players Shine at 2009 USA Hockey Player Development Camp
Chris Kreider Selected No. 19 in 2009 NHL Entry Draft
VJW Tournaments Make a Return to Haverhill in 2009
VJW Junior A Team Welcomes Two Key Players for 2009-10 Season