Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography
For the NA3HL, the NAHL draft is always a big day. Every team in the league is required to make at least one selection from the NA3HL. When you are a team that made the Fraser Cup semifinals and set all sorts of franchise records in the season like the Northeast Generals, you get two players picked, Braeden Kennedy and Matt Nuzzolio.
Head Coach Darryl Locke was over the moon about his two players earning a look in the League of Opportunity.
On Kennedy who went to Amarillo, he said “ Braeden Kennedy is a natural leader who leads by example on the ice everyday. He gives 110% in everything he does on and off the ice. He has great vision, which allows him to use his line mates to their potential. He’s a complete 200 foot player who plays defense just as hard as he does offense. He has a mean streak too. What I like most about him is his willingness to do whatever it takes to win. He plays with a chip on his shoulder. You can’t teach that. Growing up in the City of Boston neighborhood of South Boston has ingrained that blue collar work ethic. He’s carried his team on his back more often than not this past season. I think Amarillo made an excellent choice in drafting him. He’s a great kid and teammate and we’re very excited for him.”
On Nuzzolio , who stays with the Generals, playing for Bryan Erikson this year Locke said “ What can I say about Matt Nuzzolilo other than he’s a stud player. Having coached him for many years at the youth level it comes as no surprise that he landed a spot in the draft. Another player with a winning pedigree that has been snubbed by scouts and coaches because of his small stature. He just keeps proving them wrong. His skills are off the chart. Blazing speed,a rocket of a shot, and a willingness to play physical all over the ice are just a few of his attributes. What I like most about him is his grit and determination. He never gives up on a puck. Another city kid who grew up in the neighborhood of Worcester, Ma. Like Braeden Kennedy he has that chip on his shoulder and blue collar mentality. I knew at an early age he was destined to do great things in hockey. He has that aura about him. I think he’s starting to scratch the surface of big things to come. Super excited that he’s staying in the building with us. Bryan and Matt made an excellent choice keeping him in the organization. Can’t wait to see him unleash his skills on The NAHL East Division.”
Both players now have a chance to shine on a bigger stage this season. Locke has all the reason to be proud of two stars getting a look at the next level.
For Nuzzolio, he said to us from his player profile that really stands out about the Generals Organization to answer the following
What is your favorite thing about the Generals?
“When you show up to the rink almost everyone wants to excel and go to the next level and there isn’t a better atmosphere than going to the rink and playing with kids who share the same passion.”
Now he gets to bring that passion to the NAHL group and provide a quick physical scoring punch. He has a long way to go, but if he can channel some of the skills of one of the best players in Franchise history, Colin Bilek, he can go far. Nuzzolio has the scoring touch of Bilek, and if he shows the grit in his game that he brings, then the world of opportunity can open up. Just like it did for the first player to have his number retired with the team, Colin Bilek.
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