Summaries By Joshua Boyd / NCDCHockey.com
Forward: Ryan Kearney, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders
Kearney (‘04/Kings Hill, N.Y.) put up a pair of goals and nine assists for 11 points over just seven games during the month of December for the defending Dineen Cup Champions to lead the team (and the Atlantic) division to close out 2023. He enters 2024 on a 12-game assist streak, over which he has put up 20 helpers. His best stretch was between Dec. 3-9 over which he put up two assists in each game, along with a goal. Currently, the former Hill School standout has 35 points in 29 games.
Forward: Cam Bergeman, Rockets Hockey Club
Bergeman (‘03/Newark, Del.) continues to be one of the NCDC’s best goal-scorers, hitting 20 goals for the second straight season after putting up 25 in 2022-23. Leading the Rockets with an average of 25:10 per game, Bergeman put up six goals in seven games last month, and also added four assists. He put up 10 points for the month, scoring points in all but two games. With his game-winning goal in a two-goal effort on Dec. 23, he crossed into the Rockets NCDC all-time top five scoring leaderboard. He also hit a point-per-game average for his career with 116 points in 116 games. With 32 points in 26 games, he is on a pace to go No. 1 overall for the team’s history.
Forward: Alexander Ondos, Connecticut Jr. Rangers
Ondos (‘04/Baden, Pa.) is, like Kearney, a top rookie on the rise in the league. A former Northfield Mt. Hermon School and GBL Jr. Bruins star, Ondos put up four goals and six assists for 10 points in the Rangers’ eight games, during which the Jr. Rangers went 7-1-0-0. For the overall season, he has put up eight goals and eight assists for 16 points for the season. He also had three first goals of games out of his four in December.
Defense: Jonah Copre, Rockets Hockey Club
Copre (‘03/Elgin, Ill.) is already getting close to the scoring mark he put up last year, when he had 40 points in 41 games. His 10-point month that led all NCDC defensemen. He put up two goals and eight assists and with that, he was able to become the Rockets NCDC team’s all-time leading scorer among blueliners with his 71 career points. Defensively, his 35 takeaways in December led the Rockets, so he continues to get the job done in his team’s zone as well.
Defense: Carl Johan Salle, Connecticut Jr. Rangers
Salle (‘03/Malmo, Sweden) has been a huge help to the Rangers’ December rise, not only in posting three goals and three assists for six points but in being a leader in every sense of the word. He is the No. 1 option to put blade to ice, leading his team with 22:09 per game in average ice time. He was also the team’s leader in takeaways with 69 and his +6 tied for the team lead in that category. Salle is playing in his first North American season after joining the Jr. Rangers out of the storied Malmo Redhawks organization.
Goaltender: Primo Baldassarre, Connecticut Jr. Rangers
Baldassarre effectively arrived in the NCDC this past month, playing only once prior to Dec. 2. Since then, the former Captain for Choate Rosemary Hall School has ripped through four shutouts while playing all eight games and helping the Jr. Rangers start to push for something like concrete real estate in the upper echelons of the Atlantic Division. Overall, he went 7-1 (how Baldassarre went, the Rangers went) while stopping 312 out of 320 shots in 479 minutes of hockey for a .975 save percentage. Three times, the Jr. Rangers’ new wunderkind in net stopped all shot attempts by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights and he also shutout the Jersey Hitmen.
Selection Process: The league media office sends top candidates to divisional coaches for review and coaches either approve or challenge the nominations.