East Haven native Nick Capone announced on Twitter Tuesday that he has committed to play hockey at UConn.
Capone, a Register All-State selection as a freshman at East Haven, has spent the past two years at Salisbury. He is playing for the Nebraska-based Tri-City Storm of the junior USHL this season and had previously verbally committed to play college hockey at Maine.
But Capone has decided to stay in his home state, giving UConn its most significant in-state recruit since joining Hockey East.
“I am proud to announce my commitment to play college hockey at UConn. Thank you to my family and coaches who have helped me along the way! #huskies,” Capone tweeted.
— Nick Capone (@71capone71) September 17, 2019
When reached on Wednesday night, Capone did say he was looking at other schools, but UConn ended up being the choice.
“I was considering other schools when i de-committed from Maine this weekend,” Capone said via a text message. “Being able to play Division I college hockey and be in my home state in front of everyone I know was a big factor for me. The coaches also brought up me being a big part of creating something big at UConn and I couldn’t turn that down!”
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound center had 40 goals and 48 assists for East Haven, leading his team to the CIAC Division II quarterfinals in 2017. At Salisbury he had 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) in 27 games as a sophomore and 47 points (20, 27) in 30 games last season.
“I think this is tremendous for the state of Connecticut, I really do,” said Lou Pane, East Haven’s longtime hockey coach. “For him to come home and play in the state of Connecticut gives some credibility to UConn hockey.”
Pane said Capone was “a freak of nature. When he played for us he was 205 pounds. He looked like Hercules.”
Capone will be NHL draft-eligible in 2020 and will join UConn as part of the Class of 2020.
The Huskies, coached by Mike Cavanaugh, are coming off a 12-20-2 season, their fifth in Hockey East.