Skilled local skaters Michael Sullo and Christian Kocsis were two of 20 skaters with ties to the Garden State selected in the 2020 United States Hockey League (USHL) Entry Draft.
Kocsis, a 16-year old Middletown, NJ native, was selected 23rd overall in the Phase I draft by the Lincoln Stars.
Sullo, a Freehold, NJ born skater who played his youth hockey with the Mercer Chiefs, was tapped late in the Phase II draft by the Youngstown Phantoms.
“Mike is a terrific young man and a very special hockey player,” Mercer Chiefs General Manager and Coach Rob Broderick said in a media release. “He has a tremendous work ethic, and is as strong as anyone I have coached.”
In 57 career Atlantic Youth Hockey League (AYHL) games with the Mercer Chiefs AAA program, Sullo, a team captain, has registered 87 points on 33 goals and 44 assists.
“Mike is a hard working kid, very coachable, with great speed and can put the puck in the net,” Mercer Chiefs Coach Chris Barcless added. “He is a great kid from a great family. We look forward to seeing all the great things that are coming Mike’s way.”
Sullo spent his freshman high school season with Freehold Township, before transferring to Princeton Day School for 2019-20 season,
Sullo is the third Freehold Township High School alum to draw attention from the USHL – the top rated junior hockey league in the country – in recent years, following a pair of All-Shore Conference defensemen in Zach Berzolla (Muskegon Lumberjacks – Colorado College) and Julian Kislin (Youngstown Phantoms – Northeastern University).
Colin Sullo, Michael’s older brother, was a four-year varsity player for Freehold Township, and alongside Kislin, helped the Patriots capture the first division championship in program history in Feb. 2017.
Two seasons later, Michael debuted with the Patriots and posted 24 points (12g, 12a) in 26 games. Last season, in 20 games with Princeton Day School, Sullo notched 17 points (5g, 12a).
Sullo was also selected in the United States Premier League’s (USPHL) 2020 National Collegiate Developmental Conference (NCDC) Draft by the Philadelphia Hockey Club.
Kocsis relocated to Michigan in 2018, where he has developed with the Little Caesars and Honeybaked AAA clubs.
After helping Little Caesars to a national championship, Kocsis filled up the scoresheet in 2019-20 for Honeybaked, delivering 117 points on 56 goals and 61 assists in 69 games.
Kocsis’ older brother Michael is also a high level hockey talent and an NCAA Division III commit to Arcadia University. Michael played his youth hockey with the New Jersey Jr. Titans and the New Jersey Rockets. In his senior year of high school, Kocsis suited up for Wall Township, where he logged 25 goals and 10 assists for the Knights.
Christian was also drafted this year by the Oshawa Generals in the seventh round of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Other New Jersey Skaters Drafted
- Christian Kocsis – Middletown, NJ – Honeybaked Hockey Club – 2nd Round by the Lincoln Stars
- Nicholas Vantassell – Basking Ridge, NJ – Morristown Beard High School (New Jersey Rockets) – 6th Round by the Green Bay Gamblers
- Nicholas DelGaizo – Basking Ridge, NJ – Ridge High School (New Jersey Rockets) – 7th Round by the Omaha Lancers
- Ryan Schelling – Airmont, NY – North Jersey Avalanche – 8th Round by the Muskegon Lumberjacks
- Stepan Kutznetsov – Biloxi, MS – New Jersey Rockets – 8th Round by the Green Bay Gamblers
- Mick Thompson – Toronto, ON, Canada – North Jersey Avalanche – 10th Round by the Chicago Steel
USHL Phase II
- Cade Penney – White Rock, BC, Canada – New Jersey Junior Titans (NAHL) – 2nd Round by the Madison Capitols
- Daniyal Dzhaniyev – Brooklyn, NY – New Jersey Jr. Titans – 3rd Round by the Madison Capitols
- Damien Carfagna – Wood Ridge, NJ – Don Bosco Preparatory School – 3rd Round by the Green Bay Gamblers
- Liam Hansson – Ramsey, NJ – North Jersey Avalanche – 4th Round by the Fargo Force
- Tyler Nasca – Wheatfield, NY – New Jersey Junior Titans (NAHL) – 5th Round by the Cedar Rapids Roughriders
- Gustave Bylin – Montclair, NJ – New Jersey Colonials – 6th Round by the Madison Capitols
- David Andreychuk – Chatham, NJ – Chatham High School (New Jersey Devils Youth) – 9th Round by the Waterloo Blackhawks
- Dylan Robbins – Alpine, NJ – North Jersey Avalanche – 9th Round by the Chicago Steel
- Michael Emerson – Yorktown Heights, NY – North Jersey Avalanche – 11th Round by Chicago Steel
- Anthony Calafiore – Staten Island, NY – North Jersey Avalanche – 15th Round by Des Moines Buccaneers
- Michael Rubin – Blauvelt, NY – New Jersey Rockets – 16th Round by the Youngstown Phantoms
- Kyle Mandleur – East Brunswick, NJ – The Hun School (Mercer Chiefs) – 20th Round by the Cedar Rapids Roughriders
- Michael Sullo – Freehold, NJ – Freehold Township High School/Princeton Day School (Mercer Chiefs) – 20th Round by the Youngstown Phantoms
- Bryce Lago – Miami, FL – Bergen Catholic High School (North Jersey Avalanche) – 20th Round by the Chicago Steel