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From the VJW to the NHL: Chris Kreider and Corey Schneider
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Chris Kreider (top) and Corey Schneider are just two recent VJW success stories
With two of its talented teams coming off impressive performances at the 2013 Massachusetts State Championships, it is no surprise to learn that many of the program’s players have gone on to great careers.

Two former Warriors – Chris Kreider and Corey Schneider – are grabbing national headlines as they have gained prominence in the NHL. They are both products of the VJW youth development program.

“It just goes to show that we are able to develop players of all ages,” said Steve MacAdams, the VJW director of program development. “While many of our players begin at the mite level, our coaches have been able to help players of all ages with the end goal of helping them develop as much as possible.”

Chris Kreider – Forward for the New York Rangers

While the hundreds of young players in the VJW organization will proudly wear their Boston Bruins attire around the rinks, there is no question that they all have a soft spot for the New York Rangers.

After all, they have heard the stories about how Kreider began his competitive hockey career as a Warrior mite player. He enjoyed the same type of skills sessions that these youngsters attend every Tuesday afternoon. In fact, Kreider told the Warriors program that he still – to this day – hones his skills using some of the drills he learned while a player in the organization.

His story is one that many of the players would hope to emulate. After spending more than 10 years in a VJW jersey, Kreider went on to a successful high school career at Phillips Academy and Masconomet before committing to Boston College where he spent three successful seasons.

Days after leading his Boston College team to an NCAA title, Kreider signed a deal with the New York Rangers (he was a first round and 19th overall pick by the Rangers in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft) and joined the team during its 2012 NHL Playoff run. He tied an NHL record for most playoff goals scored in a single postseason by a player who had not yet skated in a regular-season game.

Kreider is currently enjoying his third professional season with the Rangers organization. After beginning this year in Hartford (with the team’s AHL affiliate), Kreider was moved up and is now seen as a key player for the Rangers future.

A recent article by Hockeysfuture.com – considered a top online prospects resource – noted Kreider’s importance to that organization.

The upper portion of the New York Rangers Top 20 has not changed for several cycles. Chris Kreider remains the premier player among a very talented group, while Danny Kristo, obtained in a July 2013 trade with Montreal, now occupies the number two position.

In just 11 games this year, Kreider is the team’s fourth leading producer with two goals and eight assists.

He still finds time to connect with his VJW roots.

In addition to taking time to meet a member of the VJW '05 Elite team last season (click here to read about that memorable encounter), Kreider can also be found during the off season working out with Mike Boyle and his strength and conditioning staff... the same staff that oversees the strength and conditioning program for all VJW players and has a home base located on the mezzanine level of the Haverhill Valley Forum.

Cory Schneider – Goaltender for the New Jersey Devils

Schneider has much in common with Kreider. They were both top NHL Draft picks (Schneider was 26th overall) and played hockey first at Phillips Andover Academy and then Boston College.

But while Kreider had a special bond with many of the VJW coaches, Schneider enjoyed a unique relationship with Brian Daccord from Stop It Goaltending.

Daccord – who now oversees the goaltending program for the VJW program – first met Schneider when he was in the process of transferring from Marblehead High School to Phillips Academy.

“The neat thing about Cory is, when he comes to train, he likes to go with the group,” said Daccord in an article that appeared in the Tri-Town Transcript last season. “I’ve offered him the opportunity to do stuff independently, but he really integrates well with the other guys, and it’s a good experience for them, some of whom are in the minor pro leagues and college.”

Schneider is one of the many top clients that Daccord has worked with over the years. Included in that impressive list are NHL goalies such as Scott Clemmensen and former Bruin and Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year) winner Andrew Raycroft.

Now 27 years old, Schneider has spent the better part of his NHL career with the Vancouver Canucks organization. On June 2, 2010, Schneider signed a two-year, \$1.8 million contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks.

He gained headlines this past season when he was traded to the New Jersey Devils. He is currently sharing time between the pipes with future NHL Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur.

In just eight games with the Devils, Schneider’s numbers are impressive. He has a 2.09 goals against average and .915 save percentage.

A History of Success

In addition to these current NHL success stories, the VJW program has watched hundreds of its players excel at the next level. To wit, the program has developed 15 Professional Players (NHL, AHL, ECHL, Europe) and more than 100 NCAA Division I & III players who have graduated from top universities.

Here is a list of the Professional Players from the NHL, AHL, ECHL or in Europe.
  • Chris Kreider – NY Rangers (NHL) & Boston College (Hockey East)

  • Joe Ryan – LA Kings (NHL), Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL), Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
  • Cory Schneider – Vancouver (NHL) & Boston College (Hockey East)

  • Michael Hutchins – San Jose (NHL), Cardiff Devils (UK-EIHL) & UNH (Hockey East)

  • Andrew Andricopoulos – Boston (NHL), Phoenix (ECHL), Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
  • Mark Pandolfo – Lowell Devils (AHL) & UMass Lowell (Hockey East)

  • Josh Prudden – Sport Vaasan (Finland-Mestis) & UNH (Hockey East)

  • Tristan Lush – Mississippi (ECHL), Huntsville (SPHL) & Clarkson (ECAC)

  • P.J. Martin – Lowell (AHL) & Dartmouth College (ECAC)

  • Chuck Tomes – Wheeling (ECHL) & Northeastern University (Hockey East)

  • Todd Spenser – Wheeling (ECHL) & Sacred Heart (Atlantic Hockey)

  • Steve Crusco – Roanoke (UHL) & Merrimack College (Hockey East)

  • Ryan Kiley – Wheeling (ECHL) & Merrimack College (Hockey East)

  • Dan Lombard – Clermont Auvergne HC (France) & Yale University (ECAC)

  • Alex Sikatchev – SKA St. Petersburg (KHL), Merrimack College (Hockey East)
INDEX
VJW '97 Elite Standout Netminder Elijah Harris Commits to Brown University
2015 Set to be an Unprecedented Year for American-Born & VJW Players
VJW Alum Chris Kreider Emerges as An NHL Game Changer
Valley Jr. Warriors Put Massachusetts Back on the NHL Map - Part I of III
VJW Alum Noah Hanifin Named to U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team
Looking Forward to 2014 VJW Tournaments
Former Warrior Mike Vecchione Helps Union College Win First National Title
VJW '97 Elites Cap Off Superior Season at USA Hockey National Championship
It's Game Time for VJW U16's at the 2014 USA Hockey National Championship
Former Warriors - Fitzgerald, Silk & Vecchione - Highlight Frozen Four
Three VJW Junior A Players Announce Plans for 2014-15 Season
VJW ’97 Elites Prepare for 2014 USA Hockey U16 Tier I National Championship
Three VJW '00 Elites Participate in Prestigous East Coast Young Guns Showcase
VJW Players Highlight 2014 Super 8 Hockey Championship
Valley Jr Warrior Junior A Team Soars Into Second Round of EHL Playoffs
A Parent's Perspective: Reflections On Another Great Season of Warrior Hockey
Valley Jr Warriors Post Perfect Record on NEHL Championship Sunday
Valley Jr Warrior Teams Win Three NEHL Championship Titles
In Memory of Paul Gilmartin, Sr.
VJW Alums Lead USA Under-17 team to Another International Title
Thanks to VJW Alum Alex Carpenter For Representing Team USA at Sochi
Valley Jr Warriors Named Charter Member of E9 Elite Hockey League
So Much to Look Forward to - VJW Tryout Season Begins This Week
VJW Alums Ryan Fitzgerald & Brendan Silk Celebrate 62nd Beanpot Tournament Win
Former NHL Stars Ken Hodge & Scott Lachance Named VJW Bantam Coaches
VJW Junior A Standout Charlie Widmar Commits to St. Olaf College
Did You Know? 10% of the Beanpot Players Are Valley Jr Warrior Alums!
Former Warrior Ryan Heavey Stands Tall for Babson Beavers
Former VJW Player Jake Kulevich Has Found a Home at Colgate
VJW Accepting Applications From Experienced and Qualified Coaches
NY Islander Goaltending Coach & Former Olympian Visits VJW Practice
VJW Teams Head to Rhode Island for JWK Tournament
VJW '00 Selects Enjoy A Night at Frozen Fenway
Former Warriors Lead Team USA to a Gold Medal at the gold medal at the World Under-17 Hockey Challen
Alex Carpenter Named to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team Roster
VJW '03 Elites Advance to Semifinals at the North American Frozen Cup
Two Former Valley Jr Warriors Players Continue Impressive Carpenter Legacy
Mark Your Calendars Today for 2014 VJW Tournaments
VJW '97 Elites - Massachusetts State Champions
VJW '00 Selects Take Time to Give Back During the Holiday Season
VJW '01 Elites Impress and Dominate at 2013-2014 Super01 Series Tournament
Valley Jr Warriors Youth Teams Continue NEHL Player of the Week Streak
Charlie Widmar & Shane Tracy Named EHL Mid-Season All Stars
VJW '00 Elites Make National Statement; Now Ranked 12th In the Nation
Another Major Success For the Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament
VJW Teams Win Three of Six Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament Titles
Former Warrior Chris Kreider Nets First Career NHL Hat Trick
VJW Teams Prepare For Playoffs at Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament
2013 Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament Kicks Off in Haverhill
Four Former Warriors Reunite in NCAA Division I Showdown
Ken Hodge & Ryan St. Jean Backstop VJW '00 Elites to a Great Start
VJW Junior A Squad Scores Four Power-Play Goals in League Win
Cam Askew Takes his VJW Talents to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Nov 15, 13
From the VJW to the NHL: Chris Kreider and Corey Schneider
Logan Bridgewater Named NEHL Player of the Week
VJW '99 Elites Advance to Mass State Championship Finals
Hunter Wilhoite Named Eastern Hockey League Defensive Player of the Week
Former Warrior Ryan Fitzgerald Named Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week
VJW U16 Tier I Team Capture 3rd State Championship & Are National Bound... Again
VJW Junior A Team Happy to Be Back Home
Four VJW Players Receive NEHL Player of the Week Honors
VJW '00 Elites Capture 2013 East Coast Classic Prep Cup Tournament Title
VJW '97 Elites Dominate and Win 2013 Midget Fall Classic
Jack Toohey Named the New England Hockey League Player of the Week
Fitzgerald, Hanifin & White Suit Up for U.S. National Under-17 Team
VJW Junior A Team Falls to Northern Cyclones in Week 2
Brendan Parent of the VJW '99s Named NEHL Player of the Week
VJW '03 Elites Advance to Finals of 2013 AAA Rochester Invitational
A new season. A new league. A new team. A new opportunity for the VJW Junior A Team
VJW Play Featured in NEHL Weekly Roundups (9/8)
VJW Teams Perform Well During Week 1 of NEHL Qualifying Jamboree
EHL Partners with EDUCATEAthletes for Full Suite of Educational Services
VJW 04 Selects Advance to Finals of Rinks at Exeter Tournament