By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com
It always helps, as a junior hockey player, to play at a National Championship tournament when it comes to attracting the attention of college coaches. Harout Torosian, an All-Star forward for the USPHL Premier’s Hudson Havoc, recalls having conversations with Johnson and Wales University Head Coach Eric Graham.
“I first started talking to Johnson and Wales at the National Championship Tournament in Utica, N.Y.,” said Torosian, a 2002 forward from Hoffman Estates, Ill. “While talking to Coach Graham, he liked my pace of play along with my ability to make plays, skate the puck with confidence, and being able to put the puck in the back of the net. He also liked my complete level during the games.”
Torosian and the Havoc were making their second straight Nationals trip and had qualified for the third time in four years this past spring. Torosian has been on board for both of their Nationals trips in 2022 and 2023. Overall, he put together 82 points in 87 regular season games and added 10 points in 16 postseason games.
Johnson and Wales University, with its main campus located in Providence, R.I., competes in the New England Hockey Conference and is working to build its program back to the regular winning seasons they enjoyed in the 2010s in the former ECAC Northeast Conference. Johnson and Wales was founded in 1914 as a business school, and in a rarity for that time period, both the university’s founders were women, Gertrude Johnson and Mary Wales. It is still highly regarded for its business program.
“Academically, I was very intrigued by the many different opportunities to choose a major and have a very successful career after four years. There is no specific decision, however I would like to possibly go into the business or sports Management Program,” said Torosian. “On the hockey side, Coach Graham takes it very seriously and wants all his players to continue and improve in everything they do, in the weight room and on the ice. Also being in the NEHC which is a very good hockey conference.”
Torosian did a lot of research on JWU, but was unable to make the trip from his Illinois home to see the Rhode Island campus firsthand.
“I have not yet had the opportunity to go and visit in person. However, from what I have seen online, it looks like a beautiful campus and downtown Providence, R.I., is also very very nice,” he added. “I made the decision to commit after talking with my parents and Coach Graham for a while. We all felt that this was the best place for me to go to school and play NCAA hockey.”
He’s not going alone, either, as he will be joined by teammate Brad Crook, whose 19 goals were second only to Torosian’s 21 this past season for the Havoc.
“I love the opportunity to play alongside Brad Crook for four more years,” said Crook. “He is a great teammate and a great hockey player with lots of skill.”
He had a lot of those playing alongside him in Hudson. After all, there are 10 members of the 2022-23 Havoc moving on to NCAA colleges and additional players have tendered with NCDC Tier II teams for next year.
“Hudson is an amazing organization. I absolutely loved the two years that I played there. From the scouting, coaching, players, and billet family, as well as Hudson as a community, I would highly recommend Hudson Havoc to anyone who is looking to play juniors in a very good Division and have the opportunity to continue on to college hockey,” Torosian added. “I would also like to add that I am extremely thankful for Scott Sturgeon for helping many of my teammates, including myself, get a commitment to play NCAA hockey.”
He also talked about how Head Coach Dean Talafous, a veteran of more than 500 NHL games, helped develop his game and that of his teammates.
“During practices, we would split into groups and focus on specific skills for forwards which included shooting, stickhandling, edgework, and small area battles,” he added. “Additionally, we had our own time before and after practices to work on things we felt like we needed to improve on.”
This helped make Torosian a USPHL Premier Midwest All-Star. He was certainly honored by that recognition, and also thanked the USPHL for putting the Havoc’s players into showcase and tournament situations that helped attract college coaches.
“It is truly an honor to be named a Midwest West All-Star. All my hard work on and off the ice and the support of my teammates for the past two seasons put me in the best position to be successful,” he said. “I feel like the USPHL Premier does a great job of attracting college coaches through the many showcases that each team has available to them across the country. The high level divisions with many talented players help prepare everyone for NCAA hockey.”
The New England Hockey Conference is a tough circuit, one that included the National Champion Hobart College during the 2022-23 season, so Torosian knows that he’ll have to keep working during the spring and summer to bridge the time between juniors and college.
“I will be working on getting stronger and developing as an athlete to help aid with the rigorous and physical play at the NCAA level, while continuing to add to my 200-foot game,” Torosian added.
The USPHL congratulates Harout Torosian, his family, the Hudson Havoc and Johnson and Wales University for his commitment.