NCDC Head Coach Tim Kyrkostas announces the first of three camps for the 2022-23 NCDC team. The first will be an Open Camp taking place April 30th and May 1st at Merrimack College. The second camp will Main Camp - Phase 1 which will be a tryout format for players to move on to Phase 2 of Main camp which will be part of the USPHL Summer Showcase. Main camp Phase 1 will take place on July 12th - 14th at Skate 3 ice Arena, Tyngsboro, MA. The players moving on to Phase 2 will take part in the Summer Showcase at New England Sports Center July15-17th.
All players interested should contact NCDC Head Coach Tim Kyrkostas at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Jackson Kyrkostas knows what it is like to be a winner. He went down to the USPHL Midget Championships in York, Pa., and his team faced tough opposition all the way through - but in the end, it was Jackson and his teammates holding the Championship banner for the USPHL 16U Division.
He’s hoping that he can bring that championship-winning magic in the future to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, as he has committed to RPI for NCAA Division I hockey. He started talking to RPI last season while with the Islanders' USPHL 16U squad, coached by his father Tim Kyrkostas, who is also the Islanders’ NCDC Head Coach.
“I began talking to RPI back in the early months of 2021. The coaches liked a lot about my game, thought I was a great playmaker with good IQ and skill, and that I loved to have the puck,” said Jackson, a 2004-born native of Windham, N.H. “What interested me a lot about RPI was getting the opportunity to play for such a passionate hockey program and getting a great education at the same time. I heard lots about the culture and atmosphere in RPI both in the rink and around campus.”
Kyrkostas just recently toured RPI on Jan. 24.
“I toured RPI three days before I officially committed. What sold me really was just the relationship with the coaches and how much they believe in me as both a player and a person,” Kyrkostas said. “I felt like it was the best place to help me get to the next level and become a better person and I’m super excited for the future!”
The 2020-21 season was limited due to COVID, but Kyrkostas made the most of the seven regular season games he played, posting a 4-11-15 line. He also had four points in his four Championship series games.
He had a combined nine points in 11 USPHL 16U games in 2019-20, and also played for the Islanders’ USPHL 15U team in 2018-19, posting a 3-2-5 line in five games. That is just the USPHL portion of his Islanders career, though.
“The Islanders program has been a huge part of my life as I’ve played with them ever since I was 11,” said Kyrkostas. “I loved all the coaches, teammates and friends I met along the way as they helped me so much. I loved the variety of different players I got to play with. Everyone was so good and fun to be around. Winning the USPHL championship was another great achievement for us last year.”
The Islanders and the USPHL gave Kyrkostas the opportunity to craft a time management plan that worked extremely well for his development.
“I feel like the Islanders really helped me develop my game big time. We were on a schedule during the season which maximized time on ice, in the weight room, and learning the game,” said Jackson. “Also playing with great players and learning different things from new coaches helped me add new things to my game which has been crucial. I feel like my confidence has improved so much and I feel, overall, a more balanced player.”
There’s still more time to get ready for NCAA hockey. Kyrkostas is able to work together with the RPI coaches to determine what year he’ll get on to campus.
“I’m certainly working on getting stronger, whether it’s in my shot, acceleration, or overall body strength,” said Kyrkostas. “I feel like getting stronger and continuing to develop my 200-foot game will help me prepare and become a big impact player at the college level.”
Although RPI is known as an engineering school, Kyrkostas is more interested in their business and sports marketing programs, though he has plenty of time to figure it out.
“I don’t believe I’m fit for the engineering aspect, unfortunately [laughs],” said Kyrkostas. “But I’m interested in business or sports management at RPI. Talking with the coaches, they talked about how they have a great business program and that was exciting to hear.”
The USPHL congratulates Jackson Kyrkostas, his family, the Islanders Hockey Club and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for his commitment.
Aaron Schwartz and his family had a good inkling when he was still in elementary school that working with then-future Islanders Hockey Club NCDC Head Coach Tim Kyrkostas was the right move.
“Playing for Tim was something I wanted to do since playing for him back in Florida, when I was probably 6 or 7 years old,” said Schwartz, who grew up with Tim’s son Jackson Kyrkostas. “Last year was a really good year developmentally and recruiting-wise.”
Brown University first watched him while with the Islanders USPHL 16U National Championship team last season, and kept watching over his first few games of the new season, Schwartz’ first in the NCDC with the Islanders. With a goal and four assists in his first five NCDC games, Brown was sold. Schwartz committed for a year still to be fully determined, but as of right now probably the 2023-24 season.
“I’ve been in contact with them the last couple weeks. I visited campus on Sunday, got the offer Monday [Oct. 11] and took it,” said Schwartz. “The first thing I liked was their coaching staff - the way they handled the whole process was very professional. They talked to me like a regular person and not just another recruit. The school is unbelievable, it’s a tight-bond community.”
He became at first intrigued with the Ivy League and then completely determined to make it there after working with his personal trainer Ryan Vesce.
“Ryan graduated from Cornell, and just seeing how far an Ivy League degree can take you helped me focus on school the last couple years, to make sure I had the marks that can make it into an Ivy League school,” Schwartz added.
“I am so happy and proud of Aaron and his entire family,” added Kyrkostas. “I have watched this young man since he first started to play all those years back in Florida. To see him go through a lot of highs and lows over the years and for him to finally see all of his hard work pay off with this commitment is just awesome! He's a great young hockey player.
“He's really bought into the process of becoming a well-rounded 200-foot player,” Kyrkostas said. “He has a great hockey mind as he loves to watch the game and then analyze every aspect of it. I think Brown University is getting a great one.”
After playing with the Kyrkostas’ at Palm Beach, Kyrkostas later moved on to the Florida Alliance youth program, including representing the Alliance at the prestigious Quebec International Peewee Tournament in 2017.
After he turned 15 and living in both Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale, he played his first year fully away from home with the Shattuck-St. Mary’s 15U squad.
“I got the whole being away from home experience, and then the whole thing of playing for Tim fell into place last year, and I thought that was a good place to be,” said Schwartz.
“This is truly a great success for the IHC and the USPHL model - he was a Futures draft pick who played one year in our Midget program and now in the NCDC garnering his commitment,” added Kyrkostas. “The model works for those that have the talent and are willing to trust us in how we develop players.”
Midget hockey was a mess in the main COVID season of 2020-21, and he only got into seven regular season games for the IHC’s 16U team, posting a 4-11-15 line in that short time. He also got a game with the USPHL 18U Islanders. In the 16U playoffs, Schwartz was a prime mover for the Islanders team that won the championship, scoring a 3-2-5 line in four playoff games. As Tim Kyrkostas does double duty as the Islanders’ 16U National and NCDC coach, the transition to the higher junior level was seamless. And Schwartz has loved every minute of it so far.
“We have a great team with a good shot at winning the championship in the end,” said Schwartz. “We have a lot of guys who just want to be here and they’re good, hard workers with skill and grit. We really have what it takes [to win the title].
“The NCDC as a league is on the rise, especially last year seeing and practicing with the team and the good players who came through the team,” Schwartz added. “The league is just going up, and I have only good things to say about it.”
It’s a couple years away yet, but Schwartz believes he will pursue a business track once he arrives on the campus of Brown University. For now, the main order of business is to bring the Dineen Cup back to the Islanders Hockey Club for the first time in four years.
The USPHL congratulates Aaron Schwartz, his family, the Islanders Hockey Club and Brown University for his commitment.