With professional hockey playoffs in full swing, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement as a fan. Now, imagine what the players must be feeling—especially the rookies.
They have the opportunity to show their stuff on their sport’s grandest stage. Several Union Men’s Hockey Alumni are getting a chance to do just this.
Josh Jooris, who played for the Dutchmen from 2010-2013, left Union in 2013, following his junior year, after earning a contract with the Calgary Flames.
Jooris’s road was a long one; he attended camps for the Boston Bruins in 2011 and then for the Vancouver Canucks in 2012 before ending up with the Flames.
In the 2013-2014 season, Jooris played for the Abbottsford Heat, Calgary’s American Hockey League (AHL) team. He played in 73 games, scoring 11 goals and having 16 assists.
Coming into the 2014-2015 season, Jooris impressed the Flames’ coaching staff, but was nonetheless kept with the team’s AHL affiliate, which was relocated to Glens Falls, NY as the Adirondack Flames; Jooris played only two games for Adirondack.
Then, in October 2014, he was called up to play for Calgary due to several injuries on the team. Jooris has played 60 games with Calgary, scoring 12 goals and having 12 assists.
Right now is an especially exciting time for Jooris and the Flames as they play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
At press time, the Flames led its series with the Vancouver Canucks 3-2. In Game 2 of the series, Jooris had a penalty for goalie interference. If the Flames can hold their lead, they will move on to play the Anaheim Ducks.
Another Dutchmen alumni, Shayne Gostisbehere ’14, who was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers program in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, is, unfortunately out of commission for this year’s playoffs due to an injury, but will return next year.
Gostisbehere was a key defense player while at Union, earning 2013-2014 ECAC Hockey All-Conference First Team Honors and also playing an integral part in the team’s 2014 NCAA Division 1 Championship victory.
Following the 2013-2014 season, Gostisbehere signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers. Then, he went on to play five games with the Flyer’s AHL team, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, and two games with the Flyers.
According to Gostisbehere, “The transition from playing college hockey to playing professional hockey was not too hard. It’s definitely more fast-paced and other athletes are more skilled. You have to focus on the little things.”
In his five games with the Phantoms, Gostisbehere recorded five assists and in all seven games he played, recorded zero penalty minutes.
Unluckily, in a game against the Manchester Monarchs, Gostisbehere suffered an ACL tear, an injury that proved to be season-ending; he has been out of commission since the injury.
When asked about his recovery Gostisbehere said, “It’s going well. I am fully-healed, cleared, and beginning to train again. I’ll start practicing right away but I’ll hold off on playing until training camp in September. I’m hoping to play as much as I can and just get better.”
Goalie Troy Grosenick, who played with the Dutchmen from 2010-2013, has also experienced some success.
In his sophomore season with the Dutchmen, he was named the ECAC Goaltender of the Year and was named a Hobey Baker Award Finalist, an award that recognizes the best player in college hockey.
Following the 2013 season, Grosenick signed a two-year contract with the San Jose Sharks. He was sent to play with the team’s AHL affiliate, the Worcester Sharks.
In November of 2014, Grosenick was called up to play for San Jose. In his debut, Grosenick had a shutout, becoming only the 22nd goalie in history to record a shutout in their debut.
On top of that, Grosenick made 45 saves in the shutout; the most saves in a shutout debut in modern hockey history. Grosenick has played two games with San Jose.
Another Dutchman goalie performing in the pros is Keith Kinkaid.
He played with the Dutchmen from 2009-2011 until he signed a contract with the New Jersey Devils. Kinkaid stuck close to the U, playing with New Jersey’s AHL affiliate, the Albany Devils, from 2011-2013.
Over that period, Kinkaid played 87 games with Albany, just about breaking even with a 38-37 win-loss record.
At the end of the 2012-2013 season, Kinkaid was called up to play for New Jersey; he played one game with them. Kinkaid was then recalled to Albany where he played another 56 games, earning an impressive 31-15 record.
In November 2014, Kinkaid was called back up to New Jersey where he has been a backup goalie. He has played 11 games with the Devils, going 6-5. He recently renewed his two-year contract with the Devils.
Recent Dutchmen alumni, Daniel Ciampini ‘14, has also seen some professional action. Upon being brought into the San Jose Sharks program, Ciampini has played 15 games with the team’s AHL affiliate, the Worcester Sharks, and has scored three goals and had three assists.
While he has only been away from Union for a short time, Ciampini said the transition from playing college hockey to playing professional hockey is going well.
According to Ciampini, “The biggest thing is not having to worry about school. I have a lot of down time and I’ve been getting a lot of reading done that I wouldn’t have been able to do at school.”
When asked about his long-term goals, Ciampini said, “I’m looking to be a staple in the league and I want to eventually play in the NHL. I know that will be tough to do but I just try to remember my goal and work hard to get better every day. I’d like to play professional hockey as long as I can and then fall back on my degree.”00