Nov. 27, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
Men’s hockey head coach Nate Leaman announced the signing of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent (NLI’s) during the early signing period, including defensemen Anthony Florentino and Kyle McKenzie as well as goaltender Nick Ellis.
Florentino is a 6’2, 205-pound defenseman from West Roxbury, Mass., who plays for the South Kent School of the New England Prep School Ice Hockey Association (NEPSIHA). Florentino was selected for the US Under-17 Select Team that took part in the Vlad Dzurilla Tournament in Piestany, Slovakia on Feb. 7-13, 2012. He was named to the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting “Players To Watch” list (Sept. 19, 2012) and is serving as a team captain at South Kent.
“Anthony is a very good all-around defenseman that will most likely be drafted this summer by the NHL,” Leaman said. “He brings mobility, toughness and very good stick skills.”
McKenzie is a 6’0, 190-pound defenseman for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League (USHL) and is a native of Aston, Pa. McKenzie has helped Dubuque to first place in the East Division, posting two assists in 13 games played so far this season. Last year, he played in 55 games for the Fighting Saints and recorded seven assists and a plus-eight rating. He debuted for Dubuque in 2010-11, playing in four games.
“Kyle is another all-around very good defenseman,” Leaman said. “He will be a defenseman we feel we can match against top lines in Hockey East because of his toughness, mobility and hockey sense. He leads a very talented Dubuque defensive core in ice time.”
Ellis is a goaltender currently playing for the Des Moines Buccaneers, also of the USHL. Last season, the 6’0 goalie played for the Pomfret School in Connecticut, which also plays in the NEPSIHA. This season, in nine games played with Des Moines, Ellis has posted a 3.16 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. He is a native of Millersville, Md.
“Nick is a very talented and hardworking goaltender,” Leaman continued. “He played at Pomfret school last season and is working through the transition to the USHL. We are not certain if Nick will join the program in the fall of 2013 or 2014, but we believe he can be an elite Hockey East Goaltender.”
Student-athletes who are receiving a scholarship their freshman year are eligible to sign National Letters of Intent.
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