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NCDC Alumni Profile: Northeastern’s Cam Whitehead

Former Utica Jr. Comets Goalie, Las Vegas Draft Pick Whitehead Named Northeastern Co-Rookie Of The Year

 

By Joshua Boyd / NCDCHockey.com 

 

Cameron Whitehead knows what he wants – and most importantly, it’s the same thing all his teammates want. He and all of the Huskies together want to be National Champions of NCAA hockey. The successful times they saw this season, which included winning a Beanpot Championship as well as the Hockey East’s Charlie Holt Team Sportsmanship Award, were all well and good. But nothing measures up in their mind to being champions. 

“As a team, we fell a little bit short. Winning the Beanpot was a great experience and it was good for the team, but our goal is to win a National Championship, and that’s where we fell short,” said Whitehead, the former Utica Jr. Comets (2020-21) NCDC goaltender.

His first season in the NCAA Division I hockey realm may not have ended the way it can for only one team (which was Denver University this year), but he did take a lot of positives in terms of how he was able to contribute to the Northeastern cause. 

“Division I hockey was everything I thought it would be,” he added. “I worked well with our goaltending coach Brian Mahoney-Wilson, who has been around for a long time including at the professional level. He told me what I needed to add to my game, and I just kept getting better every week, and I think that showed.” 

Whitehead put up a 17-14-3 record as well as a 2.62 GAA and a .917 save percentage in 35 games as a freshman goaltender for Northeastern. This performance earned Whitehead the team’s Co-Rookie Of The Year award for 2023-24. 

“That was a great honor, especially winning it alongside my roommate Dylan Hryckowian. That showed his dedication to the game, and he was one of the guys who pushed other freshmen to be better,” said Whitehead. “Together, it was a big honor to win that award. It shows the potential that Dylan and I have to help this team achieve its goal.” 

 

From Utica To Tampa

In 2020-21, Whitehead joined the Jr. Comets out of the Rockland Nationals 18U AAA team, signing on with a team that had a specific benefit – they were playing hockey. The NCDC was one of few hockey leagues playing during the “COVID year,” playing under strict health guidelines in the fall months – and then taking the whole league to Florida as part of Hub City Tampa. 

Hub City Tampa was a six-week event that saw players housed at a resort in Wesley Chapel, Fla., and their movement was limited between the resort and the rinks they played at in the Tampa area, in order to create a closed community concept. COVID cases were few and every team was able to play more than 25 games in Florida. 

“It was one of the most fun times I’ve had playing hockey to be honest. My roommate Charlie Landshof and I became really close and it was just a great experience. We got to play close to 30 games in 40 days, so we were playing almost every day,” said Whitehead. “Some days you’d play at 10 in the morning, and then you got to go back and play a round of golf afterwards. It was unreal.” 

It was also extremely productive. He was joined in Utica by Jr. Comets owner and former NHL goaltender Robert Esche, who helped craft his game on a daily basis. 

“Having him on the ice every day was huge. He helped me prepare every day like a pro, and taught me the ins and outs of college and pro hockey,” said Whitehead, who started Hub City Tampa by winning six of his first seven games in the Sunshine State. “I gained a lot of confidence and extra tools in my toolbox when I was there. It helped me gain the confidence to be a starter.” 

He was also being scouted for his college hockey future when few other players worldwide were able to even get on the ice. He committed to Northeastern University on Sept. 30 of that same year, just two games into his USHL career with the Lincoln Stars. 

“Coming down to Hub City Tampa and playing when no one else was gave me an opportunity to get a few extra looks and it opened a lot of doors,” said Whitehead. “Getting to be a starter at a young age and playing in a lot of games gave me a leap in my game.”

 

Becoming Golden

After a season of 16 wins in 31 games with the Lincoln Stars in 2021-22, Whitehead was selected in the fourth round, 128th overall of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft by the Vegas Golden Knights. 

“They have been great. Vegas came out many times this season to watch my games and were super supportive throughout the year,” said Whitehead. “They expect a big season upcoming from me, and I’m ready to do that. I’m happy they are the team that drafted me, and I’m excited that is where my future would lie.” 

After another season of USHL hockey in 2022-23, in which he won 25 games in 41 appearances, he arrived in the City of Boston for this past season and his debut with Northeastern. Along with his performance as stated above that earned him Northeastern Co-Rookie Of The Year honors. Additionally, the Hockey East Association awarded the entire Huskies team with the Charlie Holt Team Sportsmanship Award. 

“I think earning that award was great. Everyone on the team was very close from Day 1, and eing around the older guys, you see they care a lot about the young guys and they built an amazing team culture,” said Whitehead. “Our goal is to win a National Championship. That’s where we want to be. We’re not going to worry about individual stuff, though I’ll always do my part in the team’s success. We want to go somewhere this team has not been.”

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