New York Hockey Journal - August 2016 - (Page 18)
Junior hockey notebook
and recruiting news
By Charles O'Brien
CHannEling His innER HEnRiK
After national titles at Shattuck, Tomeo eyes next step with Tri-City Storm of USHL
After beginning his hockey career at Floyd Hall Arena with the
Montclair Blues, Tomeo joined
the New Jersey Colonials organization, where, as Tomeo said, "we
built a dynasty," winning multiple
Atlantic Youth Hockey League
championships and his national
championship in 2013.
"David has always been a
winner," said Noel Rubin, hockey director for the Colonials
and one of Tomeo's coaches.
"He has won at every level and
on every team. He competes
hard and has the knack to play
under pressure. He spent six
great years with the Colonials."
Following his Bantam major
season, Tomeo was faced with a
decision that would change his
life. "I needed more exposure and
I thought I was ready to take my
game to the next level," he reflected. "With everything that was presented to me when I went for my
visit, I fell in love with (Shattuck).
It's really a wowing experience to
see all (the former players) hoisting the (Stanley) Cup on the wall.
"If you look at a place like
Shattuck, you hear Sidney
Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Kyle
Okposo, Derek Stepan, Zach
Parise, the list goes on and on.
18 NEw YORK HOCKEY JOURNAL August 2016
oaltenders have a
large developmental curve and can
more time honing their craft than their teammates, and with most college
and junior programs carrying,
at best, three goalies, the competition for spots is fierce.
However difficult the year-toyear life in net might be, David
Tomeo (West Caldwell, N.J.)
has spent the past several years
making it look very easy, and he
is ready to again challenge himself as he enters the junior ranks
for the first time.
Wrapping up a three-year stint
at the prestigious Shattuck-St.
Mary's School, Tomeo is ready to
take his three national championships and make the final roster
out of main camp for the United
States Hockey League's Tri-City
Storm. Over his three seasons at
Shattuck, Tomeo won a pair of
national championships and had
goals-against-averages of 1.67,
2.06 and 2.08, while putting up a
.916 save percentage each season.
Tri-City, fresh off a Clark
Cup championship, chose Tomeo with the 142nd overall selection in the 2015 Phase 1 draft.
But Tomeo is more than just
an elite goalie. He is an above-average student, with a keen sense
of self, who knew at a very early
age that he wanted to be just like
his idol, New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist.
"My dad took me to my first
Rangers game and I watched Lundqvist play and I was just at a loss
for words. I knew then that was
what I wanted to do. I wanted to be
just like Henrik Lundqvist," he said.
"My mom then took me to
my first open skate. I remember
just watching the hockey players. I didn't want to go to the
open skate. I just wanted to go
straight to hockey."
Although his parents tried to
dissuade the youngster from becoming a goaltender, Tomeo's parents finally gave in and he received
his first set of goaltending equipment between Christmas 2004 and
his sixth birthday in March 2005.
"I would go to these skates with
player's gear, a goalie stick and a
glove. I was probably the laughing
stock," he said with a big laugh
that resonates during most stories
David shares. "I finally got the rest
of my stuff for my birthday."
A West Caldwell, N.J., native,
David Tomeo won two national
titles with Shattuck-St. Mary's
and is vying for a roster spot with
the Tri-City Storm of the USHL.
They're some of the best players in the game. You hope to be
the next one of those guys. It's
something really special that I
had a chance to be a part of."
"I think it's a place, where, as
our head of hockey always calls
it, you can have your cake and eat
it too," added Des Christopher,
Tomeo's goaltending coach at
Shattuck. "You're with 85 Midget
players that all have the same
common goal, so it's a hungry
place. The kids here are unique
cats. It's like going to college
when you're 14, 15 years old."
In addition to his on-ice devel-
opment and accomplishments,
Tomeo cited his time at Shattuck
as being invaluable to his development as a man, teaching him lessons for the life he will lead when
his playing career is completed.
"We'd pray before games,
which was awesome to me as a
Catholic guy, and Coach (John)
LaFontaine taught us to be men
of character and men of leadership," he said. "The coaches there,
it's not about their salary or their
recognition or anything like that.
They care about us as individuals. They'd rather see us as better
men than hockey players. That's
something special that you don't
find everywhere and I'd never
trade that for anything."
Although he was relishing
the experience, Tomeo felt the
time was right to again challenge himself, leaving the program to enter juniors. Prior to
the opportunity to play with the
Storm, Tomeo was planning to
skate for the Northeast Generals, who selected him with the
first overall selection of the 2016
North American Hockey League
entry draft, the first-ever selection for the first-year franchise.
"David is a world-class kid,"
said Bryan Erickson, head
coach and general manager of
the Generals. "He embodies everything we, as an organization,
are looking to represent: He
works hard, gets great grades
and is a very talented goalie."
Tomeo said the Generals
have been completely supportive of his decision to move to
the USHL, an unexpected development in what Tomeo refers to as the "business side of
hockey." "Coach Erickson said
to me that you have to take it
when an opportunity presents
itself," he said. "(Coach) said
(Tri-City) thinks you're ready,
(Coach) thought I was ready, and
if, God forbid, things didn't work
out, (Coach) said I could always
come back and play there."
The transition to the USHL
won't be easy for Tomeo. It typically isn't for young goaltenders,
but he's confident in his abilities
and is excited for the next chapter.
"I know I can play junior hockey," he said. "I don't know what
my work load will be, but I'm just
going to work as hard as I can,
embrace the grind and when my
name gets called, I'm going to
make the most of it and prove who
I am and what I'm capable of."
"We're really excited to have
David coming out of the prestigious Shattuck-St. Mary's (program)," commented Bill Muckalt, head coach of the Storm.
"He brings a tremendous potential and upside for a young
goalie. He was excellent for us
at camp and we think he's taken
a lot of huge steps and strides."
"It's going to be a jump," Christopher added. "You're playing
against 20-year-olds. You think
that you're ready for it, but the reality of it is that some of those guys
are 20 and they're really strong and
they're hungry players. But, I think
he's capable. Of the '99 birth years,
he's certainly among the top."
If, as expected, Tomeo makes
the final roster for the Storm, he's
certainly set a lofty goal for himself: helping the Storm become
the first team to win back-to-back
"To be the first team to win
back-to-back Clark Cup championships is something I want to do
in the worst way. It's something I've
trained this summer for," he said.
"Obviously I want to have a good
year statistically. I think everybody
does, but to be able to make history
is something special."
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of New York Hockey Journal - August 2016
NEHJ August 2016
Our Starting Lineup
Around the Region
Bruins Beat: Ryan Donato
NHL New England
NHL New England Digital Directory
BONUS: Comm Ave Charity Classic gallery
NEHJ Skate Guide: Brand Loyalty
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NEHJ Skate Guide: Buyer's Guide
Prep/High School Guide
NEHJ TV EPISODES
The Goalie Guru
The Hockey Mom
Summer Camp Directory
Hangin' Out With …
New York Hockey Journal - August 2016
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