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Former VJW Players Highlight Top-Ranked Division I Collegiate Rosters

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Ryan Fitzgerald
Boston College

Noah Hanifin
Boston College
Brendan Silk
Boston College
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Brendan Collier
Northeastern
Jake Schechter
Northeastern
Gus Harms
Northeastern
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Mike Vecchione
Union
  Brian Pinho
Providence
The collegiate hockey season is just around the corner, and many of the top teams in this region have deep VJW ties.

All you have to do is look at the 2014-15 Hockey East predictions and you'll see that the Warriors have many of its former players competing for three of the top four ranked teams – Providence, Boston College and Northeastern.

The Warriors also have former players competing on three of the top five teams currently atop the Preseason USCHO.com Division I Men's Poll.

In addition to Providence (#1) and Boston College (#4) - which you'll learn more about below - Union (#5) will look to Mike Vecchione to build off an impressive freshman campaign where he helped the Dutchmen to the program's first-ever NCAA Men's Hockey Championship title.

Here is a quick rundown - with team capsules courtesy of College Hockey News – on each of those three Hockey East teams and the VJW players who have continued the program’s impressive streak of placing its student athletes at top Division I schools.

1. Providence
Overview: Last year, the Friars reached the Hockey East semifinals for the third straight year and made the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2001. This year, they’re poised to take the next step. Their 97 returning goals are the most in the conference, as they bring back their top five scorers and 11 of their top 13.

Warrior Impact: Brian Pinho will be making his Friars’ debut this season after an impressive high school career at St. John’s Prep (Danvers) and one year playing in the USHL. Pinho was a longtime Warrior who began his VJW career when he was just a squirt major. He continued to develop over the years and was part of the successful 1995 team - led by head coach Bill Franzese - that not only advanced to USA Hockey Nationals in 1998, but they also collected four New England Hockey League (NEHL) titles in a six-year span. Ranked 109th amongst North American skaters, Pinho was selected by Washington in the sixth round (174th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.

2. Boston College
Overview: The defending Hockey East regular-season champs lose more offense than anyone (56.1 percent of last season’s scoring to be exact), highlighted by the departure of the superstar trio of Johnny Gaudreau, Kevin Hayes and Bill Arnold. The Eagles won’t come anywhere close to last year’s 4.10 goals per game, but the good news is that they aren’t going to give up too many goals either.

Warrior Impact: It’s hard to pinpoint what is making Eagles nation more excited… the return of sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald (who is said to be transitioning from right wing to center this season) or the emergence of Noah Hanifin along the blueline. Both are former VJW standouts. Fitzgerald, who was the 2013 EJHL Rookie of the Year while playing for the VJW Junor A team, finished as the fifth leading scorer for Boston College last season. He was selected by the Boston Bruins in the fourth round (120th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Hanifin stands as the youngest player in the history of BC's hockey program and is one of the most highly touted recruits in college hockey. He scored 45 points in 59 games with the US National Development Team, splitting time between the U-17 team and the U-18 team. Hanifin, who was a member of VJW ’97 Elite team, is projected to be a top 5 pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. In addition to Fitzgerald and Hanifin, Brendan Silk enters his junior campaign for the Eagles. He was a Warrior youth standout before he was named to the U.S. National U-18 team in 2011-12 where he played in 42 games.

4. Northeastern
Overview: The Huskies are going to score this season, which gives them a little more certainty than most Hockey East teams.

Warrior Impact: Earlier this year, Brendan Collier - a seventh round selection of the Hurricanes in the 2012 NHL Draft and a standout on the VJW’s Junior A team during the 2012-13 season– announced that he was transferring from Boston University to Northeastern. It was welcome news for the Huskies as Collier played in 29 games for the Terriers last year and led the team in plus-minus. Collier will be reunited with his former VJW Junior A teammates - Jake Schechter and Gus Harms– who are coming off a strong freshman campaign for Northeastern.

In just 10 years of operation, the Valley Jr Warriors have placed more than 100 alumni in various Division I and Division III college programs. In fact, the history of VJW success was in full display last winter when 10 percent of the players competing at the 62nd Beanpot Tournament were VJW alumni (click here to read more).

Throughout the season, check back for updates on the many talented former VJW players who are competing for the nation's top teams!

INDEX
Warrior Alum Brian Pinho Returns to National Stage in Frozen Four!
Brian Pinho Returns to the National Stage in Frozen Four!
VJW Junior A Team Clinches 2014-15 EHL Playoff Spot
VJW Juniors Sweep in Vermont; Will Platt Stands Third in Team Scoring
First Edition of Warrior News Hits VJW's Rink Network
'01 Domination - Nick Cafarelli & Matt Walsh Named Players of the Week
Valley Jr Warriors Represent Well - Again - at the Annual Beanpot Tournament
Former VJW Junior A Star Ryan Fitzgerald Named Eagle of the Week
From Mite to Air Force Academy - Zach Mirageas Announces Collegiate Plans
VJW Alums Featured in 2015 NHL Draft Central Scouting Service Midterm Rankings
VJW '01 Selects Capture Bronze at 2015 Quebec Cup
VJW '02 Selects Win Big at the 2015 Kennedy Memorial Tournament
Six Valley Jr Warrior Teams Advance to Playoffs at the Kennedy Memorial Tournament
Ryan Fitzgerald & Mike Vecchione Nominated for the 2015 Hobey Baker Memorial Award
Come One, Come 10 VJW Teams to the Kennedy Memorial Tournament
VJW Junior A Spotlight on Defenseman Ben Lau
McKennelley & Neary Collect League Player of the Week Honors
Vecchione Named to Frozen Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team
Team USA & Noah Hanifin Off to Fast Start at World Junior Championship
VJW Junior A Team Caps Off 2014 With Two Big League Wins
Noah Hanifin Nets Shorty & Steals Show For 2015 U.S. National Junior Team
VJW Junior A Team HIts Road for Key Three-Game Series
Three Former VJW Stars Shine For Saint Anselm Hawks
Valley Jr Warriors Now Accepting 2015-16 Coaching Applications
Eight Years & Counting - VJW '00 Selects Support Those in Need
VJW Alum Alex Carpenter Named Hockey East Player of the Month
From the VJW to Harvard - a Success Story for Alum Devin Tringale
VJW Junior A Team Returns From Break With Big Win Over the New Jersey Titans
Ryan O’Halloran of the VJW '02 Elites Named E9 Player of the Week
VJW '04 Selects Finish Second at the 2014 Turkey Tournament
Valley Jr Warrior Teams Dominate at Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament
2014 Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament Summary
Five VJW Teams Advance to Playoffs at the 2014 Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament
Player Spotlight on Valley Jr Warriors Junior A Netminder Colin Soucy
Shane Tracy Named ECAC Northeast Rookie of the Week
VJW Alumni Feature - Jake Kulevich of #6 Colgate University
Two VJW Players Named Elite 9 Hockey League Players of the Week
Mike Vecchione Named ECAC Hockey Player of the Month
VJW '03 Selects Quiz Torey Krug on Bruins Faceoff Live
VJW U-18 Squad Advances to Playoffs of 2014 Beantown Fall Classic
Doubling Up: Mike Vecchione Named ECAC Player of the Week
Hunter Wilhoite Named EHL Defensive Player of the Week
VJW Junior A Team Sweeps Weekend to Move Up EHL Standings
Mike Vecchione Named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week
VJW '00 Selects Step Out in Support of a Friend & a Great Cause
VJW Junior A Team Takes Two Out of Three at the EHL Columbus Day Showcase
VJW Program Takes Center Stage On Eastern Hockey League Web Site
Oct 7, 14
Former VJW Players Highlight Top-Ranked Division I Collegiate Rosters
VJW Junior A Team Prepares for the EHL's Columbus Day Showcase
VJW Midget Teams Set for Tier 1 Showcase in Westborough
VJW Youth Teams Off to Strong Elite 9 & Boston Hockey League Start
VJW Junior A Team Scores Big Home Victory Over Boston Junior Rangers
Eric MacAdams Made National Heads Turn at USA Hockey Player Development Camp
Noah Hanifin Draws USA Hockey Headlines & Makes Boston College History
Four VJW Standouts Highlight 2014 All-American Prospects Roster
Brogen Photography Comes to the Valley Junior Warriors
EHL Spring Showcase Comes to the Haverhill Valley Forum in 2015
VJW Junior A Team Readies For the Start of the 2014-15 Season
VJW '03 Elites Win Divisional Title at 2014 Warrior National Showcase
2014 Warrior National Showcase Comes to a Close
Alex Carpenter Named to 2014 U.S. Women's Under-22 Select Team
Brogen Photography - 2014 Order Form
Ready to Go… Showcase Schedule Posted
Valley Jr Warrior Summer Camp Sets The Stage for the 2014-15 Season
VJW Alum Chris Kreider Signs Two-Year Deal With New York Rangers