By Jim den Hollander / USPHLNCDC.com
Caden Cranston wrapped up the USPHL NCDC Hockey League’s top individual honor with the announcement of adding Player Of The Year (and Forward Of The Year) honors to his previously acquired Rookie of the Year award.
He has created a blueprint of how to succeed and advance in the USPHL. After a successful season in the USPHL Premier Conference with the Buffalo Stampede. Cranston was tendered by the Rockets Hockey Club’s NCDC (Tier 2) squad and stepped up a level last fall.
The fit couldn’t have been better as Cranston, coming off a 19-goal, 63-point campaign in Buffalo made the step up look easy, especially after an early season move added a pair of wingers to his line from the Team Wisconsin program.
“The chemistry between (Kyle) Rohrer,(Adam) Timm and I was good from the start. They both see the ice so well and know where to be at all times,” said the ‘04 from Rochester, N.Y. “I also played with Jonas Dobnig quite a bit throughout the season and he is also a great player – the fastest player I’ve ever played with and it’s really not even close.”
Cranston knows talent when he sees it – Dobnig was named Fastest Skater at the World Junior Championships for the preliminary round, against teams like Team USA, Canada et al.
Cranston clearly benefited from being put with these teammates, collecting points in 44 of 50 games and racking up three or more on 11 occasions. The Rockets were successful but after some up and down times, Cranston said the team found its way later in the season.
“In early February, we were on a six-game winning streak and playing a great brand of hockey that pretty much helped us finish the season off as well as we did,” recalled the center, who helped push the Rockets into the playoffs.
After getting noticed by the Rockets NCDC brass while in Buffalo, Cranston managed to get notice from NCAA coaches while with the Rockets. He ultimately decided to forgo his final years of junior eligibilty and will be facing new challenges as a freshman at Bentley and a member of the Bentley Falcons.
“I first talked to Bentley’s Assistant Coach [Stephen] Needham in early December,” said Cranston. “I went and toured Bentley right before the All-Star game in February and loved the facility and campus. The coaching staff was also great to me when I was there, so it was a pretty easy decision to commit there shortly afterwards.”
Congratulations to Caden Cranston on an amazing season in the NCDC, and best of luck adding to
his individual resume with some NCAA honors down the road.