While our state will never produce hockey players the way Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, or the country of Canada, there are Jersey guys in the NHL and several in the AHL, hockey’s top minor league. Currently, there are nine players in the NHL and nine others in the system of NHL teams.
I am not listing the high schools they attended. A big reason is if they did play high school hockey, it wasn’t for four years because they move to another part of the country or to Canada. They do that to compete at a higher level of play to prepare themselves for college hockey or an eventual destination to the NHL. The level of high school hockey just isn’t strong enough to prepare one for professional hockey.
Below is the list of players from New Jersey in the NHL:
Kyle Palmieri, RW, New Jersey Devils, Montvale
Tony DeAngelo, D, New York Rangers, Sewell
Trevor Van Riemsdyk, D, Carolina Hurricanes, Middletown
James Van Riemsdyk, LW, Philadelphia Flyers, Middletown
Anthony Stolarz, G, Philadelphia Flyers, Jackson
Kenny Agostino, LW, Montreal Canadiens, Mount Olive
Bobby Ryan, RW, Ottawa Senators, Colingswood
Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Calgary Flames, Salem
Joakim Ryan, D, San Jose Sharks, Rumson
The best player of this group is Gaudreau, followed by Palmieri. Not far behind is James Van Riemsdyk and Ryan is very good when he is on his game.
One player who completed his high school hockey is Agostino, a two-time Star-Ledger High School Player of the Year, playing for Delbarton. He played at Yale for four year’s, including the team that won the NCAA championship in 2013. Originally drafted by Pittsburgh in 2010, he has bounced around since expiring his eligibility at Yale, he has bounced around, but may be sticking with the Montreal Canadiens.
New Jersey players who are in the NHL team system – Most of them are playing in the minors, but a couple are playing college hockey:
Brandon Crawley, D, New York Rangers, Glen Rock
Cayden Primeau, G, Montreal Canadiens, Voorhees
Ross Colton, C, Tampa Bay Lightning, Robbinsville
JJ Piccinich, RW, Toronto Maple Leafs, Paramus
Kevin Boyle, G, Anaheim Ducks, Manalapan
Cam Dineen, D, Arizona Coyotes, Toms River
Buddy Robinson, RW, Calgary Flames, Bellmawr
Tim Clifton, C, San Jose Sharks, Matawan