Top '97 Defenseman Joseph Masonius Commits to UNH
Hockey Essentials, based in Woodbridge, NJ and the Jersey Hitmen have announced that 1997-born defenseman Joseph Masonius (DOB: 2-17-1997) has verbally committed to play for the University of New Hampshire. In the above photo (Courtesy of Essentials Hockey), the 6'0", 170 lbs. defenseman is shown with Hockey Essentials Coaches Paul Losik and Mark Lotito at the 2012 Northeastern College Showcase held in late July. In the Under-20 Showcase, conducted by Hockey Essentials, Masonius was named as the Best Defensemen. UNH Coach Scott Borek was reportedly impressed with Masonius' play against older players.
Collin MacDonald has trained with Masonius at the Woodbridge facilities. In Masonius' announcement of his commitment to UNH, he had high praise for the program:
" I have learned to think the game and Hockey Essentials has raised my hockey IQ so much. All the coaches are there for me off the ice, I can go to them for anything and they help guide me with hockey and life. On and off the ice the staff is always there for me. Getting to play Division 1 hockey at UNH is an honor and I couldn't have done it without you guys."Currently, Masonius is playing for the Jersey Hitmen's Empire Junior Hockey League team and their Midget Major U18 team, which plays in the United States Elite Hockey League. In 7 games with the Empire Team, Masonius has 1 goal and 6 assists. A couple of weeks ago, the 15-year-old scored a couple goals and helped lead the U18 team to the Championship of the Junior Bruins Shootout in Marlborough, MA. Incidently, fellow UNH recruit Charlie Kelleher of the Junior Bruins U18 competes in the same league as Masonius.
In the Hitmen's announcement of Masonius' commitment to UNH, written by Empire League Head Coach Chris Barling, Joseph provided this insight into his decision:
"The first time I visited UNH I knew it was the place I wanted to be. It's a perfect fit" said Masonius "I would like to thank, coach Barling, coach Lotito and entire Hitmen organization for the opportunities they have provided me. I would also like to thank my family for all of the time and sacrifices they have made to help me attain my dream. I am very excited to join coach Umile and his staff in a few years, but for now I look forward to continuing my development. This has been a great environment to play in and I look forward to continuing the early season success we have had."Joseph Masonius becomes the 6th Jersey Hitmen to commit to play for UNH in recent years. He joins fellow Hitmen Justin Agosta, Matt Willows, Collin MacDonald, Brett Pesce and Jordan Masters.
There is one more interesting connection between Masonius and UNH players. Masonius is a sophomore at Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, NJ. Knowlegeable UNH fans will recognize CBA as the high school attended by former UNH star James van Riemsdyk and current standout Trevor van Riemsdyk. Last winter, Masonius had 3 goals and 14 assists for the CBA team that made it to New Jersey Non-Public High School Championship game. The youngest van Riemsdyk brother, Brendan, was a sophomore on that team.
Finally, Masonius has excelled at USA Hockey Select Development Camp. At the 2012 Select 15 Camp last July, Masonius was among the top-scoring defensemen with 2 goals and 1 assist. US Hockey Report ranked him as the #7 defenseman. Fellow UNH recruits Liam Darcy and Charlie Kelleher also played well at the Select 15 Camp. USHR has reported that Masonius is committed to join the Wildcats in the fall of 2015