NEW JERSEY DEVILS’ HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS OF THE MONTH HONORED
THREE SENIORS, THREE JUNIORS AND ONE SOPHOMORE, INCLUDING TWO GOALIES, HIGHLIGHT JANUARY 2018 SELECTIONS
The New Jersey Devils High School Player of the Month Program continues in this, their 26th season honoring the top scholastic hockey players in the Garden State.
Players named for January 2018 are: Seton Hall Prep senior forward Stephen Buck (Gordon Conference); Northern Highlands senior forward Joe Konvit (Big North Conference), Princeton sophomore forward Aidan Trainor (Colonial Valley Conference), Westfield junior goaltender C.J. Duffy (Essex/Union), Randolph senior goaltender Scott Kimiecik (MCSSIHL), Ridge junior forward Alex Konovalov (Greater Middlesex/Skyland Conference) and St. John Vianney junior forward John Gelatt (Shore Conference).
Also, for the first time in the history of the high school honors, the Devils are proud to name Molly Coyne of Chatham-Madison and Keegan Heher of Morristown-Beard as the very first Girls Ice Hockey Players of the Month for December and January, respectively.
Moving forward, every month December through February, eight student-athletes from throughout the state will be selected as recipients of the award. Public A, Public B, Public C and Non-Public All-Tournament Teams will be selected in March and an overall Boys and Girls High School Player of the Year will also be chosen at the conclusion of the season.
Duffy, The HockeyClan/Buttendz State Player of the Month, stood tall recording 32 saves to backstop Westfield to the Union County Cup title on January 20 while earning tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Duffy appeared in all nine games for Westfield during the month of January, going 5-3-1 including wins over Scotch Plains-Fanwood and Summit in the UCT.
Buck scored 10 goals, including a hat trick in a victory over Gloucester Catholic in which he eclipsed the 100-point plateau, to go along with eights assists in January. The senior has 23 goals and 36 points in a resurgent season for Seton Hall Prep in 2017-18.
Konvit, who also surpassed the 100-point plateau this past month, amassed 11 goals and 14 assists in a breakout performance for Northern Highlands of Allendale. After registering 16 goals his entire junior season, Konvit has 17 goals and 25 assists for 41 points in 2017-18.
Trainor led the Colonial Valley Conference in scoring with 21 points in January. Trainor scored 11 goals, including a three-goal, five-point game against Hopewell Valley on Jan. 22. After a sensational, 22-goal, 61-point freshman season, Trainor has 27 goals and 22 assists so far this year.
Kimiecik kept Randolph undefeated through January, going 6-0 with shutouts over Hillsborough and Chatham this past month. The last line of defense, Kimiecik is 18-1-3 in 2017-18 with eight shutouts while seizing the reigns in between the pipes for the Rams this season.
Konovalov paced the Skyland Conference with 21 points in January, tallying 13 goals and eight assists, including a four-goal, six-point effort against Montgomery on Jan. 12 and three goals and five points in two wins over rival Pingry to begin 2018. After recording 49 points his entire sophomore season (22-27), Konovalov has exceeded that performance through just 24 games this season (24-41).
Gelatt had six multi-goal games last month for St. John Vianney of Holmdel, including back-to-back hat tricks versus St. Joseph-Metuchen and Christian Brothers Jan. 2-3 to being the new year. Gelatt, who struck for 16 goals and 11 assists in January, added his third hat trick of the month in a three-goal, five-point game against St. Rose on Jan. 30. He has 29 goals and 65 points this season.
Winners are based on nominations received from members of the media who cover the state’s scholastic hockey. Award winners and their guests receive tickets to a Devils game, a plaque presented by a Devils’ player and dinner compliments of the Devils. Players are scheduled to be honored on Thursday, Feb. 22 versus the Minnesota Wild.
This marks the 26th season the Devils honor high school student-athletes.
Written by John Christian Hageny / @JCCSPORTS
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