As of Feb. 6, when Brady Carpenter plays two more games, he’ll be joining the century club with 100 games played for the Islanders Hockey Club since 2020-21.
Every step of the way, he has been a contributor, including helping the IHC to two straight National Championships appearances. This season, he’s leading the way in scoring with 37 points in 32 games for IHC. He has more than proven that he’s NCAA hockey material, and that was made official in late January with his commitment to Worcester State University.
“In early October, Coach Punsky told me that the Worcester State coach was interested after attending one of our games and asked me to come for a tour. Coach Deraney had me spend the entire day at Worcester State,” said Carpenter, an ‘02 from Peabody, Mass. “We talked about my game play, one-timers, and ability to play both ends of the ice.
Carpenter will be fairly close to home, a 1-hour drive from Peabody to Worcester, the largest city in Massachusetts west of Boston. He worked closely with Deraney and Islanders coach Jay Punsky, who serves as an assistant coach for Worcester, to tour the school and then make his commitment.
“After meeting Coach Deraney and touring the college, I knew it was my best choice. Coach Deraney talked about developing me as a player and helping me to move forward on and off the ice,” added Carpenter. “The school has small class sizes and lots of options of majors to choose from.”
That’s part of the fun – Carpenter is undecided on a major or preferred field of study and looks forward to finding what grabs his educational attention when he reviews the course catalog. He’ll find a way to be happy whether in the classroom or getting prepared for a weekend’s NCAA games, working under a head coach in Deraney who has coached at the NCAA Division I and III levels since 1989.
“I spent the day at Worcester State and thought the campus was great,” said Carpenter. “They have incredible athletic facilities, the dorms are nice, class size is low, and the rink and locker rooms are top-notch.”
He sees a lot of the same standards of providing a sense of professionalism, player amenities and an advanced development model with his current team, the Islanders Hockey Club.
“I’ve been with the Islanders since I was 17. I joined the Islanders in my senior year of high school and completed my schooling online,” said Carpenter. “The organization is excellent, and I had a good balance between completing my schoolwork that year and competing and practicing at a high level. My last two years with the organization and under Coach Punsky’s guidance helped me improve as a player and leader.
“The USPHL as a league is well run and a fair organization that I recommend for any player to join if they want to get to the next level.”
That first year after playing for St. Mary’s High School (of Lynn, Mass.) saw him post 12 points in 24 games that included much of the season being played in Florida as part of Hub City Tampa. From there, he improved to 20 points in 2021-22, playing in 42 games. He added seven assists in eight games, as the Islanders made their second straight trip to the USPHL Nationals in Hudson, N.H., just down the road from IHC home base. He put up seven points in eight postseason games, good for third on that team and just two points from the leader Michael Schaaf, a current IHC and future Worcester State teammate.
This season, he has jumped to the top of the leaderboard with 37 points in 32 game and high hopes of making it four straight years of qualifying for Nationals. He wouldn’t want to be with any other club on this ride.
“The Islanders Hockey Club development model works. I was surrounded by great players who made me push harder to improve,” said Carpenter. “The coaches know the system and how to make you a better player and more attractive to colleges. The games were competitive, and the practices were designed to help in any weak areas and excel in your strong areas.”
There is still time to work on his game in USPHL competition, of course, with a few more regular season games and a secured berth in the New England Division playoffs. He can also double his points total of last season with plenty of runway (10 games) and only three points needed to do so. He’ll be approaching every game, however, as a opportunity to push his team to its ultimate goal while preparing for the NCAA style of play.
“My main focus for the rest of the season will be to continue moving our team forward and identify any areas of weakness so I can succeed at the college level,” he said.
The USPHL congratulates Brady Carpenter, his family, the Islanders Hockey Club and Worcester State University.