Peters Township's Recktenwald set to join Johnstown Tomahawks
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Last year, Trevor Recktenwald watched as eight of his teammates were selected to move on to the Junior A North American Hockey League.
Recktenwald, a Peters resident, wanted to do the same upon completing his senior year of high school.
So he did something about it.
“After every game last year, scouts were coming asking to see our players,” Pittsburgh Viper Stars U18 AAA team coach Dave Kosick said. “Trevor's name wasn't called. So at some point in time last year, he sat down and told me he wanted to be the guy scouts came to the rink to see. And he's done what he had to do to achieve that.”
The work paid off for Recktenwald, who signed a tender sheet with the NAHL's Johnstown Tomahawks for the 2013-14 season.
A 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward, Recktenwald led the Viper Stars in scoring with 104 points (41 goals and 63 assists) in 74 games this season. Recktenwald has been part of North American Prospects Hockey League regular-season title-winning teams during both of his seasons with the Viper Stars, who are based in Harmarville.
“Trevor's a big kid, a prototypical power forward,” Kosick said. “He's a young man who's growing out of his teenage years and entering his adulthood years, so the opportunities and potential are pretty high with his size and his shot and his physical ability at his age. And he has a (mental) maturity on top of it.
“He's worked hard for this opportunity.”
The NAHL is the largest USA Hockey-sanctioned Junior A league with 24 teams across the country, including two in Alaska. The 37-year-old NAHL is the oldest and largest junior hockey (age 20 and younger) league in the United States, second only to the United States Hockey League.
Players stay with host families while playing for NAHL teams, and most work to earn college scholarships.
“Long term, I definitely want to be able to play at the D-I level, for sure,” Recktenwald said. “I want to eventually get my college degree and go to college to play hockey. If pro hockey happens in the process, I'm not really looking to that right now, but that'd be great. But I think D-I is the ultimate goal for me.”
Junior hockey is the next step in trying to achieve that goal.
Signing a tender is akin to signing a contract of sorts, as the player is announcing his intention to play for that NAHL team. Each team gets eight tenders, in addition to a draft that follows.
Recktenwald was the first signed tender for the Tomahawks, who are in their first season in Johnstown.
Another offer Recktenwald was considering was from the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings.
“Johnstown won me over,” Recktenwald said. “Especially speaking with their coaches. (Head coach Jason Spence) is a really great guy, and I know a couple players there who are really great kids who I played with before. Then, with it being close to home, it seemed like the perfect place to go.”
While overall strength and conditioning and skills were stressed, it was speed Recktenwald set out to improve during the past year.
It started with his chat with Kosick after seeing many of his teammates move on to junior hockey.
“I asked him what I needed to do to get better,” Recktenwald said. “He's always helpful and guided me to the style of play I needed to play to utilize all my size and strength to my advantage.
“He helped me out a lot, and without that, I wouldn't be where I'm at today.”
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.