Two Edward Little boys’ hockey team standouts are heading to Ontario to further their hockey career.

Drew Lupardo will forego his senior year and 2012 graduate Jared Pelletier have signed to play for the Lefroy Wave of the Greater Metro Junior Hockey League (GMHL).

The Wave’s USA scout David Daniello, who is a coach for the Maine Sternmen program in Rockport, recruited both to Lefroy.

“Well, I tried out for a hockey team, the Maine Sternmen, with a few friends,” Drew Lupardo said. “The (Sternmen) coach David Daniello is the USA scout for Lefroy. It’s a good opportunity to play in a junior league in Ontario.”

For Pelletier, he was suppose to play for the Wave before a last minute hang up kept him at EL for his senior year where he had 18 goals and 21 assists for 39 points.

“I was supposed to go up there last year to play with this team,” Pelletier said. “A couple days before going up, the Canadian government actually put a tax on my family because I was going to go to a public school up there. It was going to be too much money to play for the junior team.”

 “I just graduated so I won’t be going to school, I will be just playing hockey.”

Lupardo, who had 28 goals and 15 assists last season for the Red Eddies, looked at all of  his options, but playing in Canada was hard to pass up.

“It was a pretty tough decision,” Lupardo stated. “I was an assistant captain last year. Head coach Craig Latuscha said I might have been the only captain this year. This is a better opportunity to be seen by other junior leagues”

 “I talked to coach Latuscha. Hhe said it’s my career and he backs my decision.”

Depending on how Lupardo does at the start of training camp, which starts on Monday, will determine his role with the Wave.

“I talked to the coach, and it all depends on my performance,” Lupardo added. “What he has heard I will get a lot of playing time.”

Pelletier expects to bring offense to the team which finished sixth in the regular season last year.

“I talked to (the Lefroy coach). He was saying I was going to be on at least the top line,” Pelletier added.

The Wave weren’t the only Junior “A” team looking at Pelletier and Lupardo. The Boston Bulldogs program out of Salem, N.H., which plays in the Atlantic Junior Hockey League, was interested in both players. Pelletier was also eyeing the Portland Junior Pirates, which has their Junior “A” team in the Eastern Junior Hockey League and their Junior “B” team in the Empire Junior Hockey League. Both say the GMHL is the best option for them to reach the next level.

“I haven’t really decided yet. If I had to choose, right now it would be major junior,” said Lupardo, on whether he would want to play in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) or in the NCAA.

The Canadian Hockey League is comprised of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League — which the Lewiston Maineiacs competed in for eight years before the team folded in June of 2011 — the Ontario Hockey League, and the Western Hockey League.

“I am hoping I can get drafted into (another junior league) like the OHL or get recruited by a college team to play college hockey. That would be great,” Pelletier said.

The GMHL is an independent junior league with 15 teams and has sent one player to an NCAA Division I school, 62 players to NCAA Division III schools, and four players to a CHL team since its inception in 2006.

Lupardo has three years of junior eligiblity remaining while Pelletier has two years.


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