By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com
After an entire hockey career up to 2022 spent in his native Canada, 2002-born Prevost, Que., native Johnny Ramoundos made the decision to move south of the border to keep his hockey dream going – way south of the border. All the way to Estero, Florida.
“I had originally moved to Fort Myers and my mom told me there was a junior team down there. I then went for a practice and fell in love with the facility, the guys on the team were awesome, and the coaching staff pushed me to get to the next level,” said Ramoundos. “Overall, I had a great experience playing for the Jr. Blades and I couldn’t complain about the weather.”
He also got a chance to play in front of NCAA coaches and scouts all season and eventually struck up an agreement to move on to the SUNY-Fredonia Blue Devils team for 2023-24.
“Towards the end of May, I got a call from Jeff [Meredith], the head coach of Fredonia. I think he noticed my speed and my ability to skate the puck in and out of zones,” said Ramoundos, who posted 22 points in 30 games last season with the Jr. Blades.
“Fredonia is a great school in a great conference (SUNYAC). When I got the call from the coach, I was amazed by how welcoming and genuine the coach was. I also really liked the fact that some teams in the conference are less than two hours away from my hometown, giving my grandparents the opportunity to drive down and see me play,” said Ramoundos. “My grandparents are my biggest fans and I know they will enjoy watching me play college hockey.”
He has not yet visited the Fredonia campus, but has a good sense of his life that will start in late summer by viewing it via a virtual tour with Coach Meredith.
“I got the chance to have a virtual visit with the head coach, we went through a lot of info and it just furthered my interest. Fredonia seems like an awesome family and I wanted to be a part of it,” added Ramoundos, who will major in Business Administration at SUNY-Fredonia.
He greatly enjoyed his experience with the Jr. Blades, which included a couple big showcases right in his home state. In January, in Tampa, the Jr. Blades got to test themselves against teams from Minnesota, Ohio and Michigan, not an unusual event in a league that has one of the largest geographic footprints in the world – Seattle to San Diego, Maine to Florida.
“I think it’s great, the showcases are packed with college coaches giving exposure to the players,” said Ramoundos, about his USPHL Premier experience.
He knows that this summer will be a clutch time to prepare for his college hockey future.
“My main focuses this summer are to gain strength and add a couple extra pounds to my weight, all while improving my overall speed,” Ramoundos said. “I believe that the biggest step from juniors to college will be the strength of players. My goal is to be able to battle hard in the corners and effectively protect the puck.”
The USPHL congratulates Johnny Ramoundos, his family, the Florida Jr. Blades and SUNY-Fredonia for his commitment.