The Maine Nordiques believe Tristan Fasig’s game is suited for junior hockey.

The Nordiques announced last week that they signed the 18-year-old forward to tender for the 2020-21 season. Fasig played the past two seasons at The Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut.

“His offensive upside and ability is climbing and I think it will flourish more in the junior world then it did in prep, based on the role he had to play there (at The Taft School),” Maine Nordiques assistant head coach and director of player development and wellness Matt Pinchevsky said. “He’s leveling up, he’s crossing into the junior hockey threshold. I actually think he will be a more impactful player in all areas of his two-way aspect of his game, offensively and defensively.”

Pinchevsky, who has been following Fasig for a while, said that Fasig skates well, is good at winning faceoffs and sound defensively. Pinchevsky added that Fasig has already received some interest from NCAA Division I hockey teams.

In addition to playing for Taft, Fasig, a Sherman, Connecticut native, has spent time the past two seasons with the Yale Jr. Bulldogs U18 midget program.

At Taft, he played for coach Ryan Shannon, a former NHL player who played with the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League in the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. This past season the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Fasig captained the Rhinos squad and tallied eight goals and 11 assists in 25 games during the prep season.

“We are seeking out leaders, and obviously (those who) complement their leadership and how they go about their business with their ability in what they bring to the table, in terms of talent or even personality,” Pinchevsky said. “Targeting leaders to be brought into our hockey culture, our club it’s with in line with our recruiting philosophies.”

Fasig scored three goals and an assisted on another in six games for the Jr. Bulldogs prior to the start of the prep hockey season.

In 2018-19, Fasig had seven goals and 10 assists in 22 games with Taft.

A tender is a contract that gives a team a player’s NAHL rights, and the player cannot be drafted or signed by another NAHL team. The player, however, can sign with another team in another junior league.

KOZIC COMMITS TO BOWDOIN

Twin City Thunder goaltender Alexander Kozic will continue his hockey career in Brunswick, having committed to Bowdoin College.

“I first met (Bowdoin assistant coach Stan Moore) at the Twin City Thunder main camp in August and was in close contact with him for the remainder of the season,” the 18-year-old Kozic said in a USPHL news release. “Once I got to meet (Bowdoin head coach Jamie) Dumont, I knew that I would fit into the team they are trying to build. The demanding expectations they impress on their players while keeping a close personal bond with them obtains the best from their team.”

Kozic, who hails from London, England, also said that he chose Bowdoin because it’s one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

With the Thunder this past season Kozic had a 17-12-1 record with a 2.97 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage.

Prior to joining the Thunder, Kozic spent the previous two years at Shattuck-St. Mary’s Prep School in Fairbault, Minnesota, a well-known hockey school that has produced NHL players such as Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Toews.

Dumont scouted Kozic a bit when he was at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. The Bowdoin coach was impressed how Kozic (5-10, 150 pound) handled himself at the Tier II junior hockey level.

“The thing that sticks out to me with him is obviously he’s a fantastic kid and obviously a great student, but anytime he gets in that net, he may not look big, but he plays big,” Dumont said. “He competes and he challenges (players) in every minute of the game — that’s what I love about him. You look at the size and say well. you know … but he makes up for it. He’s an outstanding skater and he has a great glove (hand) and has really good instincts. He’s a guy that will have a very bright future.”

Dumont singled out Kozic’s performance in the Thunder’s December 14 3-2 win over the Jersey Hitmen in which Kozic made 41 saves.

Kozic is the second Thunder player to commit to Bowdoin College, joining NCDC teammate Gonazlo Hagerman, who committed to the Polar Bears prior to last season.

POIRIER COMMITS TO PLYMOUTH STATE

Twin City Thunder defenseman Nicolas Poirier also made his college commitment. He will join Thunder teammate Jeromey Rancourt at Plymouth State (Plymouth, New Hampshire).

The 20-year-old played the past two seasons with the Thunder organization and put up seven goals and eight assists in 43 games with the NCDC team this past season.

“He’s one of those players that you gravitate towards because he’s a leader and he works hard,” Thunder co-owner and coach Dan Hodge said. “He scored key goals on the power play with his one-timer. He’s just one of those players that you gravitated to as a leader, and his leadership grew and grew over the year. His game improved and he was able to be one of our better defensemen this year.”

Six of Poirier’s seven goals this season came on the power play.

With the Premier League team in 2018-19, the 5-foot-11, 174-pound Cowansville, Quebec native had five goals and 17 assists in 37 games.

CINATO NOT JOINING THUNDER

Recent Twin City Thunder NCDC tender signee Anthony Cinato has decided to forgo his final year of junior hockey eligibility and has instead committed to play at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire.

Cinato, who had NCAA offers on the table when he signed with the Thunder, said in a text message that New England College reached out to him after he signed with the Thunder, and he decided he could not pass up the opportunity to play Division III college hockey.

Cinato had 28 goals and 55 assists in 44 games with the Metro Jets of the USPHL’s Premier League. His 83 regular season points ranked sixth in league. He also appeared in one game with the Thunder’s NCDC team in November as a call-up.

“The whole purpose of junior hockey is to get kids on to school and he had a great opportunity to go to New England College and play for a great program,” Dan Hodge said. “It was a school he was in talks with before he signed a tender, and, hey, he made the decision to go — good for him, I am happy, he is setting (up) his future by starting college next year.”

Since the tender was signed, the Thunder won’t be getting that tender back to use on another player. During the season they dealt a tender as part a trade with the South Shore Kings in which the Thunder acquired defenseman Andy Antiles and forward Lucas Kucera.

The Thunder had seven available tenders to use for the 2020-21 season. Including Cinato’s tender, the have already used four, the other three being Andriiy Yevtukhov, Billy Hartnett and Matus Hadusovsky.

“That’s the nature of the business.Now we have to double up our efforts to find a player of (Cinato’s) caliber, maybe we find a guy in the draft or sign as a free agent,” Hodge said. “There’ a long way between now and (the season). We have the draft coming up (on June 10), and there’s always a chance to acquire more tenders through trades. So, we will keep on working at it.”

New England College is a member of the New England Hockey Conference. Lewiston native Patrick DeBlois just finished up his four-year career with the Pilgrims, while former L/A Nordiques standout defenseman JP Chauvin just completed his freshmen year with the team.


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