VJW Junior B Ara Nazarian Is the Empire League's Rising Star

A_NAZARIAN_WARRIORS.jpgThe VJW Junior B team recently enjoyed a much-deserved holiday break, but it’s hard to forget about the play of one individual who has become an Empire Hockey League superstar in just four months!

Ara Nazarian (Boxford, MA), a forward for Stu Irving’s Warrior squad, exploded onto the Empire Hockey League scene this season and currently leads the Warriors in scoring with an eye-boggling 25 goals and 15 assists in just 24 games. His offensive prowess has been so dominating that he also ranks sixth in scoring for the Empire Hockey League.

“He is – in my estimation – one of the top 96 players in this area,” said Andy Heinze, who is head coach and general manager of the VJW Junior A team. “He has incredible work ethic, skill and determination which has made him one of the most dominating players in the league despite being one of the youngest players.”

A North Shore native who began training at the age of six, Nazarian has impressed everyone from his coaches to his teachers along the way.

“He has always been a mature, humble, hardworking kid who emerges as the leader of any team he plays on through his hard work, unselfish play and commitment to his teammates,” said John McLean, who has been Nazarian’s Dynamic Skating coach for the past eight years. “He gets the game and has a very high hockey IQ, great hands and evolving speed. He is the type of player who you can send out on the ice in any situation and be confident that he will give 100-percent effort.”

That sentiment was proven true from the first moment Nazarian put on his Warriors jersey this season. Through his first six games for the Junior B team, Nazarian was a force as he collected five goals and 18 assists. In fact, Nazarian has found the scoring column in all but two of his team’s 22 games.

Despite his young age (he is only 14 years old), Nazarian has managed to find a balance between hockey and school. In just his first year at Our Lady of the Assumption School in Lynnfield, Nazarian has already made an indelible impression on his teachers and school officials.

“I think what is most impressive about him is that he fit in so seamlessly with a group of kids he never met before,” said Kathleen Tosiello, principal of Our Lady of the Assumption School, who also noted that Nazarian is one of the top students in his class. “He is an excellent hockey player, but he is not a kid who brags about himself. He has always been very friendly, polite and just fit in terrifically with his new classmates. He is a super athlete but is very modest.”

His ability to enter a new environment so seamlessly led him to perform well at the 2010 Boys Select 14 National Player Development Camp, where he competed alongside a group of players considered the best in the United States. Unfazed, Nazarian did what seems to come so naturally to him...find the back of the net. He finished with two goals and three assists in five games.

As a result of his play this season with the VJW Junior B team, Nazarian has been selected by the Empire Hockey League to compete in the league’s All-Star game scheduled for January 17th at the Tri-Town Ice Arena in Hooksett, New Hampshire.

CLICK HERE to see a sample of what you might see when Nazarian hits the ice. It is one of many highlight-reel goals for the young VJW standout!

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