For the men’s hockey team, a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Rensselaer meant an end to everyone’s season.
Except for captain Mark Naclerio ’16 and Nick Lappin ’16. The two prolific seniors will be continuing their careers at the professional level. Naclerio has signed a contract with the Providence Bruins, the AHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins, and Lappin has signed a two-year entry-level deal with the New Jersey Devils of the NHL.
“It’s been a goal of mine ever since I can remember,” Lappin said. “I’ve dreamed about playing NHL hockey since I was a little kid.”
Lappin will be able to report to the Devils’ AHL affiliate, the Albany Devils, before the end of its season, following in the footsteps of former Bears Matt Lorito ’15, Bobby Farnham ’12 and Yann Danis ’04. Farnham and Danis have both enjoyed stints at the NHL level, and Lorito is enjoying his first full season in the AHL as a top-20 point getter.
“It’s great to have these guys there,” Lappin said. “I have a great relationship with Matt — I played with him for most of my college career, so he’ll be able to help me. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to play with (Farnham and Danis).”
Naclerio’s contract with the Providence Bruins will take him from College Hill to downtown Providence. Naclerio attended his first practice with the Bruins Wednesday and said he was excited to be a part of the team, effective immediately.
“It went really well,” he said. “It’s definitely hard to be the new guy, but I think I’ll be able to adjust well. I hope to get in the lineup for the games this weekend.”
Though Naclerio and Lappin will go from housemates to living in separate states, the two are very excited to start their professional careers at the same time.
“Mark’s one of my best friends,” Lappin said. “It’s going to be weird not playing (with) him, but I’m extremely happy for him. I’m looking forward to playing against him.”
“It’s really exciting for both (of) us,” Naclerio said. “We’ve spent our whole collegiate careers together, and now we’re going into our next chapter together.”
Lappin attributed a lot of his success to Brown, acknowledging that he would not be at the professional level without the University’s hockey program.
“I’m really going to miss Brown, and I want to thank everyone that helped me out over the years,” Lappin said. “But I’m excited to start the next chapter in my hockey career.”