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NCDC Alumni Profile: Holy Cross’ Liam McLinskey

Former Jersey Hitmen Named All-American, Hobey Baker Candidate And Invited To Florida Panthers Development Camp

By Joshua Boyd / NCDCHockey.com

Liam McLinskey is having himself a year. And add that to one heck of a career – so far.

The former Jersey Hitmen star, also the 2021 NCDC Player Of The Year and a 2021 Dineen Cup Champion, was recognized by the Hobey Baker Foundation as one of the top 10 players in NCAA Division I college hockey this year. He was the Atlantic Hockey America conference’s Player Of The Year. He was named to the Second Team East All-American Team.

McLinskey put up 19 goals and 28 assists for an Atlantic Hockey-best 47 points in 39 games with the College of the Holy Cross Crusaders this year, who made it to the second round of the AHA playoffs. He earned the New England Hockey Writers Association Derek Hines Award, as Most Improved Player among players on New England NCAA Division I hockey teams. McLinskey ended up also winning the College of the Holy Cross Meegan Athletic Achievement Award, which goes to just one male and one female athlete at the college each year, recognizing their athletic achievements in Holy Cross’ name.

“It was a lot fun – just missing a couple more wins at the end of the year. It was a great honor to receive those awards and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches,” said McLinskey, who was already named an Alternate Captain for the 2024-25 Crusaders season. “Again, this is a huge honor that my coaches and teammates see me as someone who could lead them this coming year. I think it means instilling the culture we want to build at Holy Cross and just leading by example.”

He is no stranger to NHL Development Camps, either, having participated last year in the Detroit Red Wings Development Camp. McLinskey is now excited to show the Panthers what he can do. The Panthers may also be reigning Stanley Cup Champions when they host that camp, if they’re able to get one more win in a current 3-1 Cup Final series against the Edmonton Oilers.

“Getting another opportunity to work with a new NHL team, especially one in the Stanley Cup Final, is incredibly exciting,” said McLinskey. “It’s a chance to showcase what I can bring to the table and learn from the professionals.”

 

Jersey Days

McLinskey first came to the Ice Vault while playing with nearby Don Bosco Prep. He joined the former USPHL 16U Futures (now Tier 1 Hockey Federation 15U) Division in 2016-17. The Hitmen won the USPHL 16U Futures Championship that year. Entering the 16U Futures Hitmen at the age of 15, he would remain with the organization well past his 20th birthday.

In that first season, he saw a five-game call-up to the 16U Hitmen, with whom he remained for the entire 2017-18 season, with the exception of his Don Bosco season. He also split time between Don Bosco and the 18U HItmen in 2018-19, scoring 30 points in 30 regular season USPHL 18U games for the Hitmen.

His next step was to the NCDC next year, and he made it without any growing pains at all. The Hitmen pushed their way to their second of five straight Founders Cup (Regular Season) championships, as McLinskey racked up 52 points in 50 games. The next season, amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and with the benefit of the Hub City Tampa event keeping the NCDC in action, McLinskey had another huge season in 2020-21. Scoring 24 goals and 43 assists for 67 points, he earned himself Forward Of The Year and Player Of The Year honors, en route to pushing the Hitmen to their first of two straight Dineen Cup playoff championships.

“The Jersey Hitmen organization played a crucial role in my development as a player. They provided great coaching, facilities, and opportunities, which helped me advance to the next level,” added McLinskey. “I’m grateful for the support and guidance I received during my time there.”

After starting his collegiate career with Quinnipiac University, he transferred to the College of the Holy Cross and has since put up 72 points in 79 games, good for a spot in the top 20 of cumulative NCAA Division I scoring over the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons.

The NCDC congratulates Liam McLinskey and the College of the Holy Cross on their success thus far, and we wish him the best of luck in the 2024-25 season.

 

Players, begin paving Your Pathway To College Hockey by filling out an NCDC Prospects Form today!

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