By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com
Evan Armit enjoyed working with Islanders Hockey Club USPHL Premier Head Coach Jay Punsky so much, he signed on for four more years.
Punsky, also an assistant coach for Worcester State, was among those on the Lancers staff who convinced the 2002-born native of Dryden, Ont., to commit to the NCAA Division III institution.
“I started to communicate with Worcester State and toured the university early in the new year. I received an offer from them in January. I believe the coaches loved my grit and passion for the game. I really liked Jay as a coach and felt comfortable making the move to WSU,” said Armit. “What interested me most about Worcester State is the coaching philosophies as well as Coach [Bob] Deraney’s background with coaching pro hockey. Being in an area that I am already familiar with is also a big factor for me. I’ve heard great things about their business program and the university also offers a 4+1 Masters path which attracted my attention.”
Armit registered 15 goals and 25 points in 25 games during the regular season, and he added eight points in seven postseason games as the IHC made yet another trip to the Premier Nationals, marking their fourth straight berth. He also played in 15 NCDC games, registering three points.
“My overall thoughts on the Islanders Hockey Club are that they are a very inviting and accepting organization. The coaches challenge your skills all season and make sure you are constantly improving and getting closer to a college commitment. I can’t thank the Islanders enough for taking a chance on me last fall and placing me with the best billet family ever! I would definitely recommend the Islanders organization to those interested in going,” said Armit.
He was also especially pleased to be able to play in both the USPHL Premier and NCDC, and said seeing the different levels certainly helped him develop at an even greater pace.
“I think the development was great at both Premier and NCDC levels and being able to play in both divisions throughout the year helped me. The parts of the development that helped my game would be learning to play with confidence every game. The IHC development really helped me get ready for college hockey. The intense practices and workouts at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning really improved my game this year,” said Armit. “I think the USPHL is a great stepping stone league for getting to college hockey. It has excellent exposure to scouts from all over the country and prepares you well for college hockey. Being able to talk to scouts in person frequently throughout the season is really a great part about playing in the [New England] Division.”
Armit will be majoring in Business Administration when he arrives on campus in Worcester State, which he is excited that he got the chance to visit during the winter.
“Yes, I was able to go on a visit to the Worcester State campus and I was very impressed. A lot of buildings had new renovations and I had a current Worcester State hockey player touring me around which really helped,” said Armit. “The gym equipment was all very new and they even have a golf simulator! Sports seem to be a very big part of the school and it made my decision a lot easier knowing the campus is beautiful.”
He obviously wants to be 100 percent ready to make contributions to the program once he pulls on a Lancers’ jersey.
“This off-season I’m going to be working on my leg strength and skating speed the most so that it will be an easier transition for the speed of NCAA hockey,” added Armit. “Division 3 hockey is a faster paced game than juniors and I will ensure I show up to Worcester well prepared.”
The USPHL congratulates Evan Armit, his family, the Islanders Hockey Club and Worcester State University for his commitment.