Minisink Valley Class of 2017 alumnus Nicholas Abruzzese has been named to the 2022 USA Olympic Hockey team, and will represent the United States at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing next month.
Nick, a junior forward for Harvard University, is part of a group that includes 15 current NCAA players, eight European pros and two American Hockey League (AHL) players.
He signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play Division I hockey at Harvard while a Minisink Valley student.
“Nick was a gifted athlete who could have lettered in multiple sports while he was at Minisink,” said Athletic Director Tim Bult. “We don’t have a men’s ice hockey team. Very few high schools in our area do. His ice hockey success is due to his determination and tenacity to excel as a club hockey player. That, with the support of his family and a group of coaches who mentored him, is how he became the player he is today.”
High School Assistant Principal Dr. Michael Burns added: “He was academically gifted and just really a nice and kind young man.”
Nick’s ice hockey career included playing for the 13U AAA New Jersey Colonials, the 16U AAA New Jersey Avalanche and Westchester Express teams and the 18U AAA New Jersey Avalanche before joining the North American Hockey League (NAHL) New Jersey Junior Titans.
He played for the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Chicago Steel from 2017 to 2019. USHL is the top junior ice hockey league sanctioned by USA Hockey.
In 2019, his NCAA ice hockey tenure at Harvard University began.
Nick, a team captain, leads Harvard with 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) and leads the NCAA with an average of 1.62 points per game. He has recorded a team best seven multiple-point efforts so far this season. He earned CCM/AHCA Hockey Second Team All-America honors. He led all NCAA first-years in scoring with 44 points and was named the ECAC Hockey and Ivy League Rookie of the Year, First Team All-ECAC Hockey and First Team All-Ivy.
Nick was part of the 2019 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft and was a Round 4 pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“Minisink Valley is beyond proud for Nick’s roots to be here,” added Mr. Bult. “He’s representing our nation, but he’ll also be representing Minisink Valley and our school community as well. We know he’ll be a fabulous asset to this team and there will be so many people watching this team play and rooting for them in a few weeks. Congratulations to Nick, his family and his coaches.”