With 10 goals, 19 assists and 29 points the first month of the season, senior forward Mickey Burns paved the way for Don Bosco Prep, No. 1 in The Hockey Advantage Private Schools Top 10, in an undefeated start to the 2017-18 high school hockey season in New Jersey.
Burns found the scoresheet in 11 of 12 games during November-December, finding the back of the net in all but three games, netting game-winning goals in triumphs over Gloucester Catholic, Delbarton, Christian Brothers and Princeton Day while helping set up winners versus St. Augustine, Catholic Memorial (MA) and Bergen Catholic.
The University of Vermont commit has been particularly effective on special teams with three shorthanded goals and four shorthanded assists to go along with two goals and nine assists on the power play and was a unanimous selection as The HockeyClan/Buttendz New Jersey State Player of the Month for December.
“On the ice, you can see the way he plays the game with speed and skill,” Don Bosco Prep coach Greg Toskos said. “His passing is exceptional and his shot continues to get better and better. He has accomplished so much over these past four years but what makes him special is the type of kid he is off the ice: polite, respectful, funny, the ultimate team player and a lifelong friend to so many. Everyone loves Mickey!
“The skill was always there, but now you see that fierce desire to lead and to win,” Toskos said. “On the ice he has matured so much. All the work he has put in at the gym is showing during the game. I’ve been watching him train at Challenger Strength for over a year now and the improvement in strength and speed is very impressive.”
Highlights for Burns include striking for eight points (two goals and six assists) in an 11-5 victory over St. Augustine on Dec. 3 before coming up with six points (goal and five assists) in an 8-1 victory over The Hun School of Princeton in the High School Winter Classic at Citi Field in Queens on Jan. 3.
With 11 goals and 24 assists for 35 points this season, Burns leads Don Bosco Prep (12-0-1) in scoring. The effort has propelled him past R.J. Burns (137 points) and Connor Leen (123 points) into third place, all-time, in scoring at Don Bosco Prep with 141-career points on 45 goals and 96 assists in 89-career games.
A First Team All-State selection in 2016-17, Burns is also plus-97 in his career and ranks only behind Coach Toskos (229) and John Hanifin (173) on the school’s all-time scoring list.
“We have an incredible hockey tradition at Don Bosco. The program has been around for over 50 years,” Toskos, the program’s all-time leading scorer with 129 goals and 100 assists, said. “I was fortunate to watch the Ironmen play as a kid in the late 80’s, then be a part of the program as a student and player in the early 90’s. I was an assistant after graduating college and now for the past 12 years as the head coach of the program. I’ve seen hundreds of kids come through the program and I have to say Mickey Burns is at the very top of that list of players.”
Each month this season, HockeyClan and our proud sponsor, Buttendz, will acknowledge a New Jersey State Player of the Month. HockeyClan and Buttendz will also honor an overall boys and girls State Player of the Year.
As the inaugural Player of the Month selection, Burns received a HockeyClan “Bag of Swag” which included pucks, t-shirts, stickers, magnets, water bottles and rink blankets to go along with a brand-new hockey grip from Buttendz.
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Main Image: Mickey Burns in action against Boston College High School at Walter Brown Arena in Boston, Massachusetts on December 16, 2017. (Photo courtesy of NJSportsMedia).
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