Digging In Delbarton
It’s safe to say we’d never heard of Delbarton, New Jersey prior to last year.
When the Penguins drafted defenseman Alex Velishcek from the aforementioned high-school powerhouse, we turned our heads in intrigue and thought nothing of it.
Velischek went on to have an extremely solid year at Providence, where he earned several rookie honors and gained some valuable ice time.
Back to the 10/11 draft, the Penguins are up in the fifth round, and a familiar name is called on the podium.
Ray Shero and staff went right back to Delbarton and grabbed the other stud waiting in the wings.
For a place that was completely insignificant to us two years ago, Delbarton has a pretty stuanch meaning to Penguins fans today. Rightfully so, considering that the Delbarton powerhouse has now provided the Penguins with two extremely important prospects.
Kenneth Agostino, the 140th overall pick in the 2010 entry draft, is heading to Yale this fall to continue his development at the collegiate level. Forget that there are only two NHL alumni with Yale experience, Agostino is in fairly good shape in terms of offensive ability.
The most impressive thing you get out of watching the Delbarton machine is how in tune these kids are to the defensive side of the game. The coaching staff in Delbarton built a high-school franchise off of a commitment to hard work, toughness and defense. That philosphy translates into the players it has produced. This is no different for Agostino. His commitment to two way hockey is sound, especially considering what he can bring to table offensively. Assuming he can maintain those habits, that will put him ahead of the game at the next level.
Agostino has an excellent compliment of offensive skills. A good explosive first step, quick hands, and an underrated shot. In watching Agostino, he’ll almost explode off of the puck and bury a chance before anyone on the opposing side has an opportunity to react. With 83 points (50+33) in 27 games last year, Agostino proved to be extremely tough and dynamic with the puck.
The below video features a game from Velischek’s Senior/Agostino’s Junior year. Agostino wears #9 in white and pots two goals in the video, the first and third. On the third, his quick hands and explosive movements are highlighted. The fourth goal, scored by #7 in white, is Alex Velischek.
The Delbarton crest reads Succisa Virescit, or “Cut it down, it grows back stronger.” The Penguins purged their minor league system for talent heading into their Stanley Cup runs. Players like Velischek and Agostino are certainly making it grow back twofold.