Boys Prep Pre-Season Top 15: Avon Old Farms Gets The Early Nod; Keep An Eye On Experienced Brunswick

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.

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As the start of the 2022-23 Boys Prep School hockey season commences, it is apparent that there is no clear-cut favorite this year. While some of the top programs bring back a big group, others have had to reload.

All in all it should make for an exciting and competitive season, culminating in the three New England tournaments in early March.

After sifting through feedback from several coaches, we will go with Avon Old Farms (23-4-0) to start the year in the #1 spot in the HNIB News Boys Prep Pre-season Top 15. Legendary coach John Gardner begins his 47th year behind the bench with a balanced crew, led by captains Nick Capasso and Jordin Palmer.

#2 Salisbury (23-5-0) was just 5-4 after its first nine games last winter. The Crimson Knights lost just once the rest of the way and captured another NEPSAC Elite 8 title. Sixteen players are gone from that club, but coach Andrew Will is a master at reloading his roster.

Returning five of its top six forwards, four capable defensemen and two solid goaltenders from last year’s impressive club has Brunswick (21-8-1) starting at #3. The Bruins are deep and experienced.

#4 Cushing (17-7-3) seems primed for a huge season, coach Paul Pearl’s second behind the bench. The Penguins will be led by the one-two scoring punch of junior forwards Landan Resendes (BC commit) and Ethan Gardula (UConn commit).

Jackson Kyrkostas – KUA
RPI Commit

It will be a different type of team for perennial power #5 Kimball Union (28-4-1), as coach Tim Whitehead says he has his youngest team in quite a while. The team will develop as the season progresses, so don’t be surprised to see the Wildcats still standing in early March.

#6 Dexter Southfield (17-6-3) can boast three Division 1 commits on the blue line in Sean Keohane (Harvard), Jon Lanza (Yale) and Liam O’Keefe (Holy Cross). The key for the Shields will be generating consistent offense. They open the season by hosting Cushing on November 30.

Defending Large School champion Kent (20-8-0) will start at #7 with what coach Dale Reinhardt says is “the best defensive corps I have had in my 10 years.”

#8 Holderness (20-4-3) emerged as a power last winter, making it to the Elite 8 field. Three of the Bulls’ four losses were to Kimball Union. There will be a lot of new faces on the blue line, but as deep a goaltending room as there is in the prep school ranks.

Check back over the next few days for our Boys Prep League Previews:

Here is our pre-season Top 15:

Boys Prep Pre-Season Top 15

1Avon Old Farms2340
5Kimball Union2841
6Dexter Southfield1763
9Belmont Hill2133
10St. Mark's2062
11Phillips Exeter1873
12St. Sebastian's1861
13Frederick Gunn School22130
14Loomis Chaffee14110
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