Connecticut Jr Rangers NCDC captain Drew Hickey has made his commitment to attend the University of New Hampshire under new Head Coach, Mike Souza.
The New Canaan native played the last two seasons for the Jr. Rangers in the United States Premier Hockey League. He played at the top level both years, first in the USPHL Premier and last year in the National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC).
The NCDC is the only tuition-free junior league in the U.S. exclusively located within the college hockey hotbed of the Northeastern U.S.
Hickey anchored the top pair of defense last year drawing the assignment of the opponents top lines. Drew lead the Rangers to their best regular season and playoff finish in franchise history.
Drew, a graduate of The Taft School and a former captain at Taft, jumped to the top of the list as a captain for the Jr. Rangers.
"He was a special type of leader from the minute we started to form this team in Main camp in July," coach Jim Henkel said. "He went out of his way to find a way to connect with every player. He put the time in to learn about them and what their motivation was.
"As the season went on he would be able to use that information to push kids to new highs in their hockey careers. Not only was Drew a great leader in the locker room, he led by example on the ice as well. He was one of the hardest working guys all year long, pushed guys in practice and in the gym.
"Drew logged huge minutes playing in every situation - power play, penalty kill, 4 on 4 and 3 on 3."
He scored a huge OT winner in the Jr. Rangers' home opening weekend vs. the Junior Bruins.
“He was a very underrated player, but always found a way to make a difference. Quietly, he led NCDC defensemen in scoring in a very talented league. Drew was a huge part of what we did here this season, a lot of those wins were a result of the leadership group,” Henkel said. "Drew has improved each of the last three years and will continue to do so with Coach Souza and the UNH Staff."
As Hickey finds his way and figures out the Division I level, he will continue to improve and impress but will most likely stay under the radar - not because he doesn’t deserve the recognition, but because he is more concerned about the team and personal accolades are secondary.
Hickey will enjoy his time at UNH and will most likely pursue a law degree.
"The Connecticut Jr. Rangers are very thankful for the effort Drew put forth this season,” Henkel said. “He was a major reason why we were able to push our program to a new level of success."