#CommittedLeaders: Four #NCDCAlumni Named As Hobey Baker Award Nominees

By Joshua Boyd / NCDCHockey.com

The National Collegiate Development Conference is proud to announce that four of its esteemed alumni have been named as nominees for the 2024 Hobey Baker Award, and are eligible for fans to vote for them at www.HobeyBaker.com/Vote.

Three players are also incidentally alumni of the Boston Junior Bruins, one of the founding members of the NCDC in 2017 and the overall United States Premier Hockey League in 2012. The other is from the Jersey Hitmen, also one of the NCDC and USPHL Founding Members.

We wish the very best of luck to each of the four NCDC alumni during the voting process!


Cameron Lund, Northeastern University

San Jose Sharks Draft Pick (2022) 

A Bridgewater, Mass., resident, Lund joined the Junior Bruins from the Eastern Mass. Senators after also playing youth hockey with the South Shore Kings organization. He was a top NCAA Division I prospect right away in the 2020-21 season and made his commitment to Northeastern in November of that season. Lund traveled with his team to Tampa, Fla., to participate in the six-week Hub City Tampa event during his time with the Junior Bruins, which saw him skate in 40 games and post a 17-17-34 line.

After making it to the NCDC Semifinals that year, Lund finished the 2020-21 season with the Green Bay Gamblers. He returned for a full season with the USHL’s Gamblers in 2021-22, and was selected by the San Jose Sharks that summer in the second round of the NHL Entry Draft, 34th overall.

With 45 points through his first 57 NCAA games of his career, he has been a top player at the Division I level with the Northeastern Huskies since his arrival at the downtown Boston campus. He currently ranks third in points for Northeastern.


Luke Rowe, Air Force Academy

Rowe came out of the Rockets Hockey Club youth, junior and Midget programs, and it was with the Rockets that he started his NCDC career in the league’s inaugural season of 2017-18. He was a late season acquisition by the Junior Bruins that year and was named the Captain of the 2018-19 Junior Bruins team.

He posted 37 points in 50 games that year before adding six points in eight playoff games as the Junior Bruins came back from a Game 2 deficit to survive being on the verge of elimination and end up winning the series in Game 3 for their first NCDC Dineen Cup. Rowe committed to Air Force right out of the Junior Bruins and started in 2019-20. He didn’t play any games during the 2020-21 “COVID season,” but was right back the next year with a familiar letter on his chest – a “C,” this time for the Falcons.

Currently for 2023-24, he is having his best offensive season yet, with 28 points in 28 games.


Collin Graf, Quinnipiac University 

Coming from Lincoln, Mass., Graf joined the Boston Junior Bruins at a young age, including a trip to Alberta for the Brick Invitational. He remained with the program into the Midget ranks, first with the 16U Junior Bruins for a couple seasons then with the 18U. That was his bridge to the NCDC team. He posted 47 points in his first season of 49 games and then put up 54 points in 42 games as Captain in 2020-21, the Hub City Tampa season.

He made the All-Star Game every year from 16U to 18U and both of his NCDC seasons, which certainly attracted the attention of NCAA Division I schools. He began with Union College, with whom he was an All-American Scholar.

The 2022-23 season was historic for Graf and so many of his new teammates at Quinnipiac University. They pushed through the season, winning the ECAC and then ripping through the postseason and Frozen Four to claim QU’s first-ever National Championship. Team success was paired with Graf’s individual success – First Team East All-American, Frozen Four All-Tournament, Hobey Baker Award Finalist.


Liam McLinskey, College of the Holy Cross

McLinskey was to the Jersey Hitmen what Graf was to the Junior Bruins – a proud, homegrown product, coming up through the youngest levels of their Midget program and working his way not only to become an NCDC regular, but to become the 2020-21 NCDC Player Of The Year, a season that he capped with the Dineen Cup championship.

McLinskey split the years 2015-19 between the Hitmen’s 16U Futures (later 15U), 16U and 18U teams as well as Don Bosco Prep. He served as Captain in his final year at Don Bosco, and was then all NCDC for the next two years. The 2019-20 Hitmen were one of the most potent teams the NCDC had ever seen, but their playoff dreams were squelched by the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. in March 2020. Unfazed, the Hitmen went out the next year – including at Hub City Tampa – and won their third of eventually five straight Founders Cup regular season titles and capped it with the Dineen win. McLinskey was the driving force of both teams, totaling 119 points in 94 regular season games and three points in their four 2021 playoff games. He was also a four-time All-Star game participant at the 16U, 18U and NCDC levels.

After originally starting his NCAA career with Quinnipiac University, it was through the portal transfer that he found his home with Holy Cross in 2022. In the 2023 postseason, he was named to the All-Atlantic Hockey Tournament Team, and this year, he’s racked up 30 points in 29 games.



In addition to the NCDC players mentioned above, there are three additional USPHL 16U alumni who were named to the Hobey Baker Nominees List.

Alex Jefferies, Merrimack College

New York Islanders Draft Pick (2020) 

Jefferies played with the Islanders Hockey Club 16U team between 2016-18, before playing prep school hockey at The Gunnery and Rochester, N.Y., for AAA hockey en route to Merrimack. After starting with 10 points in his freshman year, he doubled his total the next season to 23 points and very nearly doubled that to 41 points. This season, he has 19 points in 16 games. In 2020, he was drafted by the New York Islanders in the fourth round, 121st overall.


Sam Colangelo, Western Michigan University 

Anaheim Ducks Draft Pick (2020) 

It’s been nearly 10 years, but Colangelo got his start in the Black and Gold of the Boston Junior Bruins’ USPHL 16U jerseys in 2015-16. He went to Lawrence Academy the next three seasons, and from there it was the USHL with the Chicago Steel. He started with Northeastern University between 2020-23, coming in drafted by the Anaheim Ducks (second round, 36th overall) over the summer of 2020. During the winter of 2020-21, he also won a World Junior Championship Gold Medal. Ahead of the 2023-24 season, he went into the transfer portal and joined Western Michigan University. There, he’s had 28 points in 24 games.


Ben Steeves, University of Minnesota-Duluth

Steeves joined his local New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs USPHL 16U team in 2017-18, on his road upwards first to Minnesota High School hockey in Eden Prairie and then to the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers. Then, in 2022-23, he jumped to the University of Minnesota-Duluth and then put up 28 points in 35 games as a freshman. This year, he’s posted 29 points in 25 games so far.