UNH Recruit Joe Masonius Makes US NTDP
|UNH Recruit Joe Masonius at Empire |
All-Star Game (Photo: Mike Lowry)
17-year-old UNH recruit Joe Masonius (DOB: 2/17/1997) has made the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.
Here's a profile of the defenseman from Spring Lake, New Jersey who is committed to play for UNH in the Fall of 2015. When I saw him play at the Empire Junior Hockey League All-Star game in early February, these are the skills that stood out:
~ Agility with the puck - On one play, Masonius carried the puck into the neutral zone and eluded a defender with a tight, spin move near the red line. During another sequence, he fired a slap shot while moving backwards away from the net.
~ End-to-end rushes - In the first period (the All-Stars played two, 25-minute periods), Masonius gathered the puck behind his own net and carried it through the three zones. All 5 opposing players took a crack at impeding his progress and he eluded all of them. He made a similar play in the second period stick-handling past a couple opponents.
~ First pass out of the defensive zone - A few times, Masonius made perfect lead passes from the faceoff circle in his own end to a forward breaking into the neutral zone. On one particularly eye-opening play, Masonius sent a teammate in on a breakaway. Masonius threaded a pass from just inside his zone and connected with his teammate positioned near the opposition's blueline.
~ Play-making in the offensive zone - During one sequence, Masonius carried the puck behind the opponent's net, stopped, then passed to a teammate in the faceoff circle for a shot on goal.
~ Physical play - All-Star games tend to be devoid of body checks. However, Masonius stood an opposing forward up with a clean body check just as the skater attempted to cross the blueline into Masonius' end.