High scoring defenseman Colin Handy is forgoing his final season of junior hockey eligibility to begin his collegiate career, Hockey News North has confirmed.
Handy, who has a 2003 birth date, is headed to Marian University in Wisconsin effective the coming season. Marian is a Division 3, National Collegiate Athletic Association school.
The 6 foot, 180 pound Handy is coming off of a 2022-2023 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season with the Soo Eagles in which he notched six goals, 25 assists, 31 points in 55 games. He was poised to return to the Eagles for the 2023-2024 campaign until Marian came calling.
“We certainly wish Colin the best,” Eagles president and general manager Bruno Bragagnolo relayed to Hockey News North. “He was ready to come back to us for another season but when he called me and told me that Marian had made him an offer I told him to go ahead and take it. The Soo Eagles are very proud of Colin as he moves on to college hockey.”
The school commitment by Handy makes it eight Eagles from the 2022-2023 team that will be playing college hockey in 2023-2024. As was earlier reported by Hockey News North, the others are forwards Jack Mortson, Zack Briskey, Hunter Friesen, Michael Szlag and Chase Tallaire, defenseman Isaiah Gagerman and goalie Logan Raffaele. All have 2002 birth dates.
At the top of the list is Mortson, who led the Eagles in scoring during the ’22-23 season with 32 goals, 35 assists, 67 points. The likeable lad is headed to UMass Boston, which is a Division 3, NCAA level program.
Meanwhile, Briskey is headed to Northland College, which is also an NCAA D3 school, Friesen has committed to the University of Dubuque, which is another NCAA D3 program, while Szlag off to Western New England, which is also home to an NCAA D3 school. Gagerman, meanwhile, is off to Indiana Tech of the American Collegiate Hockey Association, Raffaele has committed to Lake Superior State’s ACHA program and the high scoring, high end character kid Tallaire is moving on to Grand Valley State of the ACHA.
Of note, both Szlag and Raffaele are local Sault Ste. Marie products while Tallaire is from the nearby Upper Peninsula town of St. Ignace.
Bragagnolo, to be sure, takes considerable pride in moving graduated players on to the collegiate level.
“We are extremely happy for our players who are pursuing their education and hockey careers,” Bragagnolo relayed to Hockey News North. “They are all outstanding young men who have worked extremely hard to accomplish their goals. We are proud and honoured to have had them wear a Soo Eagles jersey. We wish them continued success in their education and hockey careers. We have no doubt they will all be outstanding individuals in whatever they do in life.”