By Joshua Boyd / NCDCHockey.com
From first look, it appeared that Anthony Allain-Samake might follow the typical hockey track of so many in his home province of Quebec. As a second-round QMJHL major junior draft pick, he was high on the radar of teams at that level.
However, Allain-Samake wants to give himself more time to be the best player he can be. Rather than having to sign pro after aging out of juniors – as he would in the QMJHL – he’ll get to mature his game at the NCAA level after committing on Oct. 25 to the University of Connecticut. The UConn Huskies play Division I hockey in the Hockey East Association. Allain-Samake became the first NCDC to NCAA Division I college commitment of the season for a current player in the NCDC, as he suits up for the Rockets Hockey Club.
“I started to talk with UConn at the BJB Shootout, and then I went to visit the campus. It was just a perfect fit, I liked the campus, and the offer was great, too,” said Allain-Samake, an ‘07 defenseman from Gatineau, Que. “The campus is nice and close in, and it’s a good place to focus on hockey and academics. I loved the coaching staff, they were very professional. College hockey is more of an older league, and I think if you’re not ready to go pro when you’re 20 – and I do want to go pro someday – you can go another year or however many years while you are in college.”
Allain-Samake, who would be eligible for the 2025 NHL Draft, has been a regular on the defense for the Rockets since Game 1 on Sept. 22. He has one assist and continues to show an increased willingness to play a physical game for his first junior team.
“I’ve noticed that physically I’ve improved and now I think it’s helped playing with older kids,” said Allain-Samake. “I have a good hockey IQ but it can get better.”
Originally, he first met the Rockets coaching staff through the annual Chowder Cup tournament in Massachusetts.
“On my Chowder Cup team, one of my coaches was Matt Morrow, the assistant NCDC coach. He liked the way I played and after that, he invited me to the Rockets camp.
“It’s an amazing team, the practices are very good, geared towards college hockey and it’s good experience to play at the junior level,” Allain-Samake added. “The coaching staff is very professional.”
“We couldn’t be happier for Anthony. He is an incredible talent, but moreso a better person and teammate. Anthony had a lot of choices this off-season. We are happy that he trusted us as organization to help him develop and secure a Division 1 commitment,” said Rockets Head Coach Jared Kersner.
There is a lot more for Allain-Samake to accomplish even before he pulls on a Huskies jersey. The current plan is for him to play two more junior seasons beyond this one. So the current plan is for him to attend UConn in 2026-27.
The NCDC congratulates Anthony Allain-Samake, his family, the Rockets Hockey Club and the University of Connecticut for his commitment.