Lone Star forward Spellacy makes NCAA DI commitment
May 18, 2018
The Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) are pleased to announce forward Aidan Spellacy has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Robert Morris University for the 2018-19 season.
A Brahma for his entire junior career, Spellacy spent two years playing for Head Coach Dan Wildfong. During that time, he was part of a Robertson Cup championship and was named alternate captain in his second year. He was a crucial part of the 2017 championship run, then returned as a de facto leader for the 2017-18 season.
Spellacy’s road to junior hockey wasn’t necessarily the easiest route. An undrafted, untendered free agent going into the 2016-17 season, Spellacy attended a Brahmas camp and impressed Wildfong enough to receive an invite to training camp.
“I can’t thank Dan enough for taking a chance on me at open camp,” Spellacy said. “I definitely didn’t make it easy on myself by where I played, but it feels unbelievable. Dan took a shot on me. Helped develop me. He’s done so much for me and it feels incredible.”
Spellacy rewarded Wildfong’s belief in him by becoming a core member of both Brahmas squads he was a part of. In his first year of juniors, he put up six goals and 13 assists while playing heavy minutes against opponents.
In his sophomore year, Spellacy was even more effective as a 200-foot player, priding himself on a strong defensive game with a scoring touch. He was a key member of the penalty kill all season and was a force to be reckoned with in the offensive zone, scoring 15 goals and tacking on 17 assists.
“I definitely grew a lot from last year to this year,” Spellacy said. “From the mental side of seeing plays and slowing things down and being able to make plays and have a lot of ice time helped a lot. Being in a leadership role, guys kind of look to you and you gotta lead by example and that’s what I pride myself on – leading by example.”
“We’re thrilled for Aidan,” Brahmas Assistant Coach Justin Hale said. “He was a leader for us throughout the season. He was just the ultimate pro about how he went about his business on a day in, day out basis. He was able to play in every game, regular season and and postseason, so he was an iron man in that sense. Just a true competitor and warrior on the ice.”
In fact, Spellacy was recognized by the Junior Hockey Digest with the Brahma Warrior Award, which is given to the player “who gives the extra effort both physically and mentally. He displays a competitive attitude by pushing himself and his teammates every day with a fearless and relentless attitude.”
Robert Morris’ coaches and scouts clearly took note of Spellacy’s skillset and character, as they began heavily recruiting him towards the end of the season.
“Robert Morris came down the last time we played Topeka so [the recruitment] was a pretty short time span, but I’m sure being at 2018 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament helped me to get exposure,” Spellacy said. “I think they came down and watched that game, I talked with Coach Schooley a little bit and I’m sure they followed up and watched more after that. I got a call and went on a visit and here we are.”
If Robert Morris was impressed with Spellacy, he was equally impressed by the hockey program there. “First things first, I look for good people and Coach Derek Schooley and Coach Michael Gershon and Coach Kody Van Rentergem and all those guys are great people,” Spellacy said. “And the campus was more open than what I expected. I guess I expected a little smaller campus, but it was bigger so that’s definitely a plus. The rink and the facilities and the weight room and a lot of new things going on around campus so it’s definitely an up-and-coming school and an up-and-coming hockey program.”
With his junior hockey career coming to an end, Spellacy smiled when asked what he’ll remember about his time in Brahmaland. “The Robby,” he said. “Winning is the top thing for me, and that was incredible. And the other thing is the relationships I’ve made over the last two years. I’ve made lifelong friends that I’ll have forever and it’s just been an incredible journey. My billets were a big part of that. Being somewhere where it’s comfortable and they make you feel at home and I really felt at home in Texas.”
Spellacy will begin at Robert Morris University in the fall along with fellow Brahma and billet brother Justin Addamo. He plans to study business, and he’s excited to get his college hockey career started.
“It feels unbelievable. It feels like a lot of hard work has paid off and there’s still a lot of hard work to be had, but I can’t think Dan [Wildfong] and Coach Hale and my teammates and billets enough for everything they have done for me in Texas. I’ll never forget it.”