The United States Premier Hockey League and its top division, the tuition-free National Collegiate Development Conference, are happy to announce that the New Jersey Hitmen have won the NCDC’s Organization Of The Year Award.
The Hitmen won the NCDC by 19 points over their closest competitor, with a 43-7-0-2 record. That number 19 also shows up again in respect to the Hitmen’s longest winning streak of the year, which stretched from Oct. 29 to Jan. 20, almost three full months of the six-month season.
They also had a goal differential of +115, almost double their next closest competitor in that statistic, so the Hitmen were as sound defensively as they were offensively in 2018-19.
“No organization can be successful without a strong, well-defined culture. For us, that culture is rooted in trust, respect, loyalty and toughness,” said Hitmen President and NCDC Associate Head Coach Jim Hunt. “Everyone in the organization - coaches, staff and players - are expected to get better every day. The standard is set at the top with ownership. The Reiss family embodies the standard of excellence on a daily basis.”
The excellence has been shown through many metrics, such as All-Star Game Selections (nine) and most importantly, advancement to college hockey. Ten players from this year’s NCDC team will play NCAA Division 1 hockey, with another four moving on to NCAA Division 3.
Hunt gives a lot of credit for these metrics to longtime head coach Toby Harris.
“NCDC Head coach/GM Toby Harris has established himself as a top notch recruiter of junior talent,” said Hunt. “His network allows him to connect players on both sides of the development spectrum. He can identify potential NCAA talent and has the ability and credibility in the college community to help those athletes get placed.”
Harris and Hunt are the faces you see with the players on the bench, but there are so many more involved in pushing the Hitmen to become such an exemplary organization.
“Every member of the organization goes about their business with a tireless commitment to improving. This award is a recognition of the efforts of dozens of people who work behind the scenes to give our athletes a positive experience,” said Hunt.
“This business isn't about hockey, it's about people, and we are certainly very proud of the ones who bring our culture to life here in Jersey, especially our billet families,” Hunt added. “Opening your home to a stranger so he can pursue his dream is one of the greatest acts of kindness. We are fortunate to have such generous people in our program.”
Congratulations to the New Jersey Hitmen, and best of luck to the organization in 2019-20!
Stay tuned for our releases of other NCDC Awards throughout the rest of today and this week, with the MVP announcement closing out the Awards announcements on Friday evening.