Ben Carfora, Soph., F, West Haven: Carfora was one of the key pieces of the Blue Devils’ youth movement, scoring 10 goals and adding 11 assists as West Haven finished above .500 for the first time since 2017. If West Haven is going to return to the top tier of Division I over the next couple of seasons, Carfora will lead the way.
Aaron Cholewa, Sr., F, Wethersfield: The skilled forward used his speed to score 35 goals and add 17 assists for a whopping 52 points last season, helping the then WMRP co-op to an 18-3 record. Cholewa will be tasked with leading the individual Wethersfield program along with Kevin Avery and Will McCarter. Cholewa was a GameTime-CT All-State Honorable Mention and CHSCA All-State second-team selection a year ago.
Brian Essing, Sr., F, Notre Dame-Fairfield: The big-bodied power forward netted 15 goals and added 16 assists last season. He helped lead the Lancers to the No. 5 seed in the Division I tournament. Essing was named to the GameTimeCT All-State second team, the CHSCA All-State first team and the second team All-SCC/SWC.
Sam Erickson, Sr., F, Darien: The numbers might not jump out, but make no mistake Erickson is one of the best forwards in the state. The senior scored 11 goals and added 12 assists as a junior on the top line for the Blue Wave. Erickson was named to the GameTimeCT All-State second team.
Tatum Fitzmaurice, Sr., F, Hand: Fitzmaurice has helped lead the Hand resurgence. Along with John Gagliardi, Teddy Licari and the Massey brothers (Ethan and Logan) the Tigers have risen to the top of Division III and then Division II over the past two seasons. Fitzmaurice scored 67 points a year ago, with 30 goals and 37 assists. He was named the GameTimeCT All-State second team, All-SCC and the CHSCA All-State.
Boden Gammill, Sr., F, New Canaan: The Rams solidified their spot among the state’s best teams after winning the FCIAC title a season ago and Gammill had his hand in that run. The senior scored 13 goals and added nine assists, earning GameTimeCT All-State, CHSCA All-State and second team All-FCIAC honors. The Rams won’t surprise any teams this year and all opponents’ eyes will be on stopping Gammill.
Tucker Healy, Sr., F, Westhill/Stamford: Healy has been a staple of the co-op the past two year and helped the co-op win 15 games last year. Healy scored 16 goals and added 18 assists. With a big graduating class last year, all eyes will be on Healy to lead the way. He was named to the CHSCA All-State second team.
Beau Johnson, Soph., G, New Canaan: New Canaan might have been one of the surprising stories last season, upsetting Darien in the FCIAC final. Johnson was the surprise for the surprise team, taking over a starting position as a freshman. He went 19-2-1 with a 2.08 GAA and a .935 save percentage. He made 34 saves in the FCIAC title win. He was named to the GameTimeCT All-State third team, the CHSCA All-State second team and the All-FCIAC second team.
Luke Johnston, Sr., D, Darien: The Blue Wave lineup is deep. Johnston is the catalyst on the blue line though. The lockdown defender also showed flashes on offense, scoring four goals and adding 18 assists. He was named to the GameTimeCT All-State first team, CHSCA All-State second team and first team All-FCIAC.
Ivan Kovalev, Jr., F, Greenwich: Yes, he is the son of former NHL All-Star Alexei Kovalev. Ivan is blazing his own trail as part of the Cardinals. He scored 12 goals and added 11 assists to help the Cardinals win 13 games a year ago. He was named to the second team All-FCIAC team.
Shane Mettler, Soph., D, New Canaan: Beau Johnson wasn’t the only freshman to make a name for himself a year ago. Mettler stood tall on the blue line and played like a veteran. He scored six goals and had 11 assists, helping the Rams win the FCIAC title.
Jamison Moore, Sr., F, Darien: Moore anchored the state’s best line last season, scoring 11 goals and dishing out 24 assists. Paired with Sam Erickson, the duo will be a scoring threat every time on the ice. He was named GameTimeCT All-State, CHSCA All-State and All-FCIAC.
Luke Noonan, Jr., D, Fairfield Prep: Up and down the lineup the Jesuits are tough. As a sophomore, Noonan was tapped with being the point man on the top power play unit. He registered 12 points, including a power play goal in the SCC championship game.
Anthony Romano, Sr., F, Sheehan: Romano has been a one of the top forwards for the Titans ever since he stepped foot on the ice as a freshman. Romano, along with his twin brother Joe, and Luke Festa form a dangerous trio on offense. Romano led the team with 55 points (25 goals and 30 assists) as a junior. He was named to the GameTimeCT All-State honorable mention list, the CHSCA All-State first team and first team All-SCC.
Bryan Roy, Sr., F, E.O. Smith/Tolland: As a junior, Roy netted 27 goals and six assists for the Bucks. He helped lead the team to six wins a year ago.
Andrew Sacco, Sr., G, North Haven: Two years ago, Sacco won the Division III state title in net for Lyman Hall. Since transferring to North Haven, Sacco has picked up where he left off. He went 9-5-3 with a 2.00 GAA and a .920 save percentage, leading North Haven to the No. 7 seed in the Division II state tournament. In his final game of the season, Sacco made 20 saves to record his first shutout of the season. He is also a big-time goalie with a 6-1 record in his career during the state tournament.
Askel Sather, Jr., F, Fairfield Prep: Sather is one of the top returning scorers for the Jesuits, who also scored in big moments. As a freshman he scored in both the state semifinal and final. Last year he registered 19 points.
Chris Schofield, Jr., G, Darien: Stepping in for an All-State caliber goalie is never an easy position for one to fill, but Schofield did it perfectly. As a sophomore he helped lead the Blue Wave to the No. 1 ranking in the GameTimeCT hockey poll for most of the season. He was named to the GameTimeCT All-State third team, the CHSCA All-State second team and an All-FCIAC honorable mention.
Zach Schroeder, Sr., D, Notre Dame-West Haven: A key cog on the blue line for the Green Knights, Schroder’s contributions held Notre Dame to a successful season. He scored three goals and added 12 assists as the Green Knights captured the top seed in Division I. He was named to the GameTimeCT All-State first team and the CHSCA All-State first team.
Connor Smith, Sr., G, Notre Dame-West Haven: Smith jumped to the top tier of the best goalies in the state during his sophomore year when he led the Green Knights to the Division I state final. He followed it up with another impressive season last year, posting a 2.10 GAA and a .941 save-percentage, leading the Green Knights to a 14-6 record during the regular season. He was named to the GameTimeCT All-State second team, the CHSCA All-State first team and All-SCC first team.
Will Stewart, Sr., F, Ridgefield: Last year was a rebuilding year of sorts for the Tigers, after finishing 20-0 in the regular season in 2019. Despite a ton of new faces, the Tigers won 11 games with the help of Stewart, who scored 11 goals and added 20 assists.
Niklas Vasiljevs, Sr., F, Cheshire: The Rams scored just 41 goals last season. Vasiljevs scored 13 of them, which accounted for 31.7% of the Rams’ goals. The senior will be called upon to lead the offense of the Rams once again. He was named to second team All-SCC.
Mason Whitney, Sr., F, Fairfield Prep: While there were many goals to go around on the Jesuits’ roster, no one scored as much as Whitney. As a junior, he scored 22 goals and added 11 assists. He was named to the GameTimeCT All-State first team, the CHSCA All-State first team, first team All-SCC and was named the SCC Division I Player of the Year.
Jared Yakimoff, Sr., G, Branford: A big reason the Hornets were a favorite to repeat as Division II state champions a year ago. Yakimoff went 20-2-1 with a 1.57 GAA and had six shutouts. He won the SCC Division II championship’s Most Outstanding Player in the Hornets’ 1-0 win over North Haven. He was a GameTimeCT All-State honorable mention selection and an All-SCC second team selection.
Charlie Zolin, Jr., G, Greenwich: While Zolin split time with senior Ben Nash a year ago, this season the net is his. Zolin went 7-3-1 with a 1.55 GAA and a .936 save percentage. In June, he was selected No. 1 overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s American Draft by the Acadie Bathurst Titans.