By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com
Shane Adler is excited to be joining two other Charlotte Rush teammates as they make their way to an NCAA hockey career with Henniker, N.H.’s New England College.
He’ll be joined at the Division III institution by teammates Cam Perez and Matthew Esquerre. Adler and Esquerre were additionally teammates in 2021-22 as well with the Hampton Roads Whalers.
“I am very excited to be going to school with these two as they are close friends of mine. I think it can be more comfortable going with a friend than alone, so we’re excited,” said Adler, who posted 82 points in 86 career regular season USPHL Premier games.
“I started talking to New England College right before playoffs. Coach Fletcher [Fineman] reached out to me to start the conversation,” said Adler. “Tom Carroll expressed his interest in my game and likes my speed, skill and two-way play.”
He’s heading to an NEC program that is always a contender for championships in the highly competitive New England Hockey Conference (NEHC). Head Coach Tom Carroll has an impressive 284 wins and a .566 winning percentage in his 21-year career behind the bench.
“I think what interests me the most about the hockey is the experience of Coach Carroll and the strength of the hockey program. I also like the conference they play in, the NEHC. It’s great having a rink and gym on campus with 24/7 access, which will ultimately make me a better athlete and player,” Adler said. “Academically, I like how the school has small class sizes and extra hours available for when I need it. It feels like a community where I can learn and grow. When I visited campus I liked the small, quiet campus feel. I think it will help me keep my focus on my goals. I made my decision based on where I think I can succeed in both school and hockey. I felt that NEC was the right choice for me.”
Adler went on to say that he plans to study Marketing with an interest in Sports Management as a possible minor.
Adler, a Dallas, Texas native who came to the USPHL out of the Colorado Rampage and Dallas Stars AAA programs, put up 40 points or better in both of his USPHL Premier seasons, always a mark of consistency at an elevated level. That is especially tough in the often defensively stingy Southeast Division. He was grateful to be able to put up these two strong seasons in a league with one of the most aggressive showcase series in the country, bringing Charlotte from their North Carolina home to showcases and tournaments in Boston, Florida, New York and other locales during the season.
“After playing two seasons, I liked how I was able to get exposure to NCAA Division III teams at showcases,” Adler said. “I appreciated the level of competition and the opportunity to develop. Also, I enjoyed living with my billet families. For guys interested in moving on, I think there are opportunities in the league to pursue their academic and hockey goals with a D3 commitment.”
Very few USPHL teams have the NCAA success the Rush have enjoyed, with 13 members of their 2022-23 season headed to that level.
“The Charlotte Rush do a great job at developing players to move on. They teach life morals that will carry on with you throughout life. The coaches are great and were always looking to make each player better everyday,” said Adler. “I think the Rush development model is great for players that are looking to elevate their game and be challenged to take it to the next level. They do a great job at moving players on to the NCAA or up the [junior] ladder.”
From here, though, it’s all on Adler to make sure he’s ready to rock the ice when he steps on the campus in Henniker.
“During the summer I am going to work on my straight away speed and focus my workouts at the gym to build strength and stamina,” Adler said. “These are areas I think are important, that I can improve and will help me make an impact next season.”
The USPHL congratulates Shane Adler, his family, the Charlotte Rush and New England College for his commitment.