New England Pro-Am Hockey events have long since been global festivities with teams and players from across the globe. This coming May, NEPAHL will be welcoming its newest foreign talent to the fold with the Swedish based group Future Star Academy entering a pair of teams into the upcoming Pre-Draft Showcase.
Overseen by Boston native Mike McCarthy and Björn Bjurling, a veteran of 16 professional seasons in Europe, Future Star Academy is a private training group running camps, academies and clinics focused on individual player development, while also offering mentorship and consultation with individual teams and clubs.
“Between our Future Star Academy group and our partner BB Goalie Academy, we have had sever players climb the ladder within hockey – some drafted, some jumping directly into professional leagues – but we want our players to have more exposure to the North American hockey environment and hopefully clear a path to the NCAA,” McCarthy said. “We feel the Pre-Draft gives our players the best chance to take that first step into that world.”
Coming for more than just the hockey, during their time at the Pre-Draft, McCarthy has planned visits to NCAA schools, lectures from coaches and additional exhibition games and practices. The hope is to give his players a competitive, but also well-rounded, educational experience.
“This trip to Boston will be a great learning experience for me,” said Future Star goaltender Hugo Haas, a potential 2019 NHL draft pick. “To see how the game is different from the play in Europe, to see what I will have to do to adapt, it will be very exciting to face good competition in a tough environment.”