UNH Recruit Profile: Ara Nazarian
On Tuesday, 5'10", 170 lbs centerman Ara Nazarian (DOB: 6/19/1996) committed to play for the University of New Hampshire. Nazarian, a resident of Boxford, Massachusetts, recently completed his sophomore season at Malden Catholic and lead the Lancers to their third straight Super 8 Massachusetts High School Championship. Nazarian was Malden Catholic's leading scorer during the regular season posting 26 goals and 22 assists.
In the 5 games of Malden Catholic's Super 8 run, Nazarian scored 9 goals, including 4 short-handed goals, and added 5 assists. The above video shows Nazarian scoring 2 short-handed goals in the first game of the Super 8 Tournament against Springfield Cathedral. The Lancers won the game 3-2 and Nazarian tallied the game-tying and game-winning goals. ESPNBoston.com selected Nazarian as the Mr. Hockey Award winner. He is the first underclassmen to win the award. Former recipients have included Brendan Collier (Malden Catholic/Valley Jr. Warriors/Boston University commit) and Colin Blackwell (St. John's Prep/Harvard).
Last spring, Ara Nazarian was selected by the Des Moines Buccaneers in the 6th round of the USHL Futures Draft. Fellow UNH Recruit Patrick Grasso (DOB: 5/29/1996) has played 13 games with Des Moines this season as an affiliate player, scoring 2 goals and 2 assists. During the 2010-11 season, Nazarian played for the Valley Jr. Warriors in the Empire Junior Hockey League. He was the Jr. Warrior's second leading scorer posting 30 goals and 20 assists in 34 games.
I had an opportunity to interview Ara Nazarian, via email, about his background and his commitment to UNH:
Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. What are the main reasons you chose UNH? Ara Nazarian: UNH is the best fit for me and how I play, as well as academically. I feel very comfortable being up there and being at the campus.
Mike Lowry: What other college programs were you considering? Ara Nazarian: There were a couple other Hockey East, ECAC, and a mid west school opportunities I was considering.
Lowry: Have you and the UNH coaches agreed on a target date for you to enroll as a freshman at UNH and join the team? Nazarian: There is not a definite date I will be enrolling at UNH, but I'm greatly looking forward to that date when it does come.
Lowry: You just completed a remarkable sophomore season helping Malden Catholic win the Super 8 Championship and earning the Mr. Hockey Award from ESPNBoston.com. Last spring, you were selected by the Des Moines Buccaneers in the USHL Futures Draft. What's your current thinking on where you might play next season and the season(s) before you come to UNH? Nazarian: Next season I am planning on playing at Malden Catholic for another year, and then will determine next steps to continue development in preparation for UNH.
Lowry: Your Dad, Kevin, helps coach the Squirt Major team for the Islanders Hockey Club. Where did you play your youth hockey? Did you get to play for your Dad? Nazarian: Growing up, I played for Coach McLean and Fran Murphy with the Islanders. When I was really young, my Dad would help out on the bench and he currently helps out with my younger brothers, Anthony and Alex.
Lowry: At this stage in your development, what are the strongest aspects of your skills and what areas are you working to improve? Do you have a preference for playing center or wing? Nazarian: I'm still continuing to work hard, develop, and learning to be more consistent in all three zones. I've played both center and wing, naturally prefer center, but I'm happy to play either.
Lowry: What are your academic strengths and interests? Nazarian: I am interested in the banking and finance area. My academic strengths are in mathematics and managing my time to do well in school, while working hard year round on hockey.