Commitment Profile: Sabers’ Paganini Advances To Franklin Pierce

By Joshua Boyd / 


Mario Paganini has been a key contributor to multiple teams in the United States Premier Hockey League, dating back to his first games in the USPHL 16U Division (now the THF 16U Division), and right up to this past 107-point season with the Vernal Oilers and San Diego Sabers. 

Over six years, he played in 139 combined regular season and playoff games, and he was named a USPHL Premier Pacific Division All-Star thanks to the aforementioned passing of the century mark for points in 2023-24, which helped him amass 162 total points in a 66-game Premier career since 2022. The next stop for Paganini and this high-powered offensive game he brings will be Franklin Pierce University, an NCAA Division II school playing in the Northeast-10 Conference. 

“I committed to Franklin Pierce because I want to play with people who care as much as I do about hockey,” said Paganini, a native of Harrison, N.Y. “The team has a winning culture and is always looking to take a step forward every day. The school has a good business desk and courses that I would like to take.”

The Franklin Pierce Ravens have increased their wins total the last four years and are ready to push even higher with new head coach Ken Gernander stepping behind the bench this fall. 

Paganini played for the Sabers in two different stints in 2022-23 and 2023-24 and finished as the organization’s all-time leader in USPHL scoring with 143 points, more than 50 points ahead of the No. 2 scorer. 

“My time in San Diego was nothing short of unforgettable. Coach Nick Perez and GM Dom DiCicco developed me into a much better player than I was before junior hockey. The Sabers have taught me a lot outside of hockey and have helped me mature to play in college,” said Paganini, who has also played for the former Richmond Generals and Vernal Oilers in the USPHL Premier. 

Paganini played four seasons in the Connecticut Jr. Rangers’ Midget program, while also playing for the Iona Prep high school team in New Rochelle, N.Y. He played two seasons of 16U hockey, and two 18U seasons, including a season of 48 points in 16 games with the Rangers’ 18U team in 2021-22. 

“Playing in the USPHL was a great experience. The 16U and 18U levels were very fun with the CJR. I wouldn’t have changed a thing,” added Paganini. 

He’s always succeeded at taking the next step in his career, so it would come as no surprise if he’s a big contributor to the Ravens from the get-go. It all takes hard work when the rinks are quiet, and he knows that very well. 

“I plan on working on getting stronger and being able to win more puck battles before college,” said Paganini. 

The USPHL congratulates Mario Paganini, his family, the San Diego Sabers and Franklin Pierce University for his commitment.  

Players, fill out a Premier/Elite Prospects Form today to begin paving Your Pathway To College Hockey!