Brewster Academy (8-15-1) coach Jay Anctil welcomes a bunch of new faces to Wolfeboro this winter so team chemistry will certainly be a key component to any success.
The Bobcats do return leading scorer David Fiset-Ross (17 pts) to lead the offensive attack. Returning seniors Jeremy Beaudoin and Teegan Meehan will be keys as well. Post-grads Anthony Cieri and Mike Kutcher and new junior William Brochu will have big roles as well.
Senior Matt Fuller and senior Sam Provost return as reliable blue liners for Brewster. Finnish native Saku Leppanen, a new junior, will need to be watched.
The goaltending duties will fall on returning senior Jordan White and post-grad Alex Reissis.
Holderness (7-23-0) is under new management, with former assistant Alan Thompson taking over as head coach. Having three of his top four scorers from last year’s club back will be a help right away.
That trio includes senior Logan Clarke (28 pts), senior Tyler Slusarcyzk (25 pts) and senior Ryan Steele (15 pts). New sophomore Ethan Bliss and freshman Tanner Ensign look to help out.
Newcomers Shawn Moore, a junior, and Joshua Bliss, a sophomore, hope to be immediate contributors on the defense in front of a pair of untested junior goaltenders.
“We will have to play tough defensively and limit Grade A scoring chances,” Thompson said.
Defending champ Kimball Union (26-7-1) went unbeaten in league play a year ago. The Wildcats graduated some strong players, so it will be important for the incoming guys to rise to the challenge.
The cupboard certainly isn’t bare. Senior forwards Patrick Shea (committed to Maine), Jack Doherty and George Sennott all are gifted offensive players. They will be bolstered by the arrival of post-grad Jack Griffin and new sophomores Roope Hirvonen and Andranik Armstrong.
A pair of battle-tested seniors – Ben Finkelstein, a St. Lawrence recruit, and Dennis Cesana – will anchor things defensively for coach Tim Whitehead. Junior Sean Thomson and sophomore Bryce Dolan join the rotation.
The Wildcats do return their starting goaltender in senior Elijah Harris, who has committed to Brown. New sophomore Hugo Turcotte will look for minutes.
Looking to build on last season where it made the Lakes Region final and the post-season, New Hampton (13-17-3) will have to overcome the loss of its top two lines. Still, there is lots of positive momentum, with a new rink coming on campus in 2016.
Top returners up front for coach Casey Kesselring are seniors Ty Turgeon and Dom Thomas, who will get some help in the scoring department from the likes of new seniors Jakov Novak and Josh Pope-Ferguson, and juniors Chris Lemay and Lukas Uhler.
The Huskies have a pair of impressive juniors patrolling the blue line in Mark Leach and Luke Albert. New junior Max Osborne should contribute right away, as should post-grad Kaleb Godbout.
In goal, senior Jacob Burhans was New Hampton’s primary netminder a year ago and is joined by returning junior Thomas McLarnon.
An impressive returning nucleus could mean big things up at Proctor (17-15-1), if the Hornets can get solid goaltending and improve their team defense.
UMaine bound forward, senior Jake Pappalardo, is coming off a huge 62-point season and will spearhead the offense, along with proven veterans like senior Jack Hall (33 pts), senior Derek Tillotson (27 pts) and junior Tate Singleton (20 pts). Add to that group post-grad Jack Scannell, sophomores Ryan King and Patrick Cotton, and freshman Myles Abbate.
Junior Reilly Walsh (45 pts), committed to Harvard, is one of the top two-way blueliners in prep school hockey. Junior Matt Slick (22 pts) is another offensive-minded rearguard for coach Mike Walsh. Post-grad Owen Kuhns will only help.
In goal, senior Connor Simpson projects to be the #1 guy.
Longtime head coach Pat Norton has moved on to the college ranks at Tufts, so his trusted assistant – Brooks McQuade – moves up to the head coaching position at Tilton (15-15-3), where the Rams expect to have their usual tough club.
Not a lot of production returns at forward, where seniors Mikeal Hebert (14 pts) and Justin Robertson (10 pts) lead a group that consists of seniors Conor Ryle, Ryan Freker and Nick Waring, and juniors Jack Morretti and Jason Bogacz. Scoring help will come from post-grads Ryan Meade and Ryan Smith, and new juniors Andy Somerville, Cal Johnson and Griffin Connor.
Senior Zach Frament (17 pts) will be a leader on defense for the Rams, where Matt Cappucci, Anthony Dom and Alex McGaw also return. Post-grad Shawn Peckham and junior Josh Lennon will provide immediate blue line help as well.
In the nets, new junior Ryan Bonnvie will challenge incumbents Alexander Gerasimenko (a senior) and Zach McWihinnie (a junior).
Building chemistry between the solid foundation and new faces will be a top priority for Vermont Academy (19-13-2) to keep moving in the right direction.
Despite losing Justin Cole to the USHL, coach Chris Davidson has some talent up front, led by senior ace Houston Wilson (52 pts), and fellow seniors Jeremy Nadeau Fortin (29 pts) and Jack Raleigh (24 pts). Amongst the newcomers ready to jump right in are junior Nathan Smith and Tyus Tummings.
With Will Riedell leaving for the NAHL, senior Samuel Savard will be an anchor on the blue line for the Wildcats. New junior Mike Belliveau and sophomore Jake Meikle will have key roles on defense.
Returning senior goalie Josh Bolding (2.90) gives Vermont Academy a solid presence in the nets