Pittsburgh, PA - The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are pleased to announce that 18U forward Edward Pazo has signed a North American Hockey League (NAHL) tender agreement with the Danbury (CT) Jr. Hat Tricks.
A native of Jefferson Hills, PA, the 17-year old junior at Thomas Jefferson High School has skated for the Stars for a pair of seasons.
During the 2019-20 season, Pazo (6'3", 200 lbs.) registered 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) in 16 regular season NAPHL games and 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in five NAPHL Dixon Cup Playoff games for the U18 AAA Stars. Overall, Pazo registered 92 points (33 goals, 59 assists), including 13 power play goals and a +57 plus/minus rating on the season in 62 games played, helping lead Esmark’s Midget Major squad to the Mid-American District Championship and a spot as District Champions in the 2020 USA Hockey 18U Tier I National Championships.
During the 2018-19 season, Pazo registered 16 points (6 goals, 6 assists), including 3 power play goals, in 15 NAPHL regular season games and 7 points (1 goal, 6 assist) in four NAPHL Dixon Cup Playoff games for the Stars U16 AAA squad. Overall, Pazo registered 57 points (25 goals, 32 assists), including 3 power play goals, in 53 games played for Esmark.
"With Ed's size and production, quite a few teams had expressed interest in securing his junior rights," said Esmark 18U head coach Dave Kosick. "His shot velocity combined with his net front presence and ability to find scoring chances will certainly give him an opportunity to flourish at the next level."
Pazo is the seventh player from the 2019-2020 U18 AAA squad to sign a tender with an NAHL club and the eighth overall Esmark Stars U18 player to sign a Junior A tender for the upcoming 2020-2021 season. He joins teammates Alex Walker, forward, Wichita Falls Warriors; Lane Ruffner, defenseman, Wichita Falls Warriors; Ryder Brophy, forward, Lone Star Brahmas; Connor Strobel, goaltender, Johnston Tomahawks; Dustin Geregach, defenseman, Johnston Tomahawks; and Tyler Stewart, forward, Fairbanks Ice Dogs, who all had previously signed NAHL tenders for this upcoming season, as well as Danny Mitchell, goaltender, who signed with the Worcester Jr. Railers, of the Eastern Hockey League (EHL).
The Jr. Hat Tricks skated as the Wilkes Barre / Scranton, PA, Knights last season but have relocated to Danbury beginning with the 2020-2021 season. The team, which will remain in the NAHL's Eastern Division, will play out of the Danbury Arena. Former NAHL standout Billy McCreary is the Jr. Hat Tricks head coach.
In addition to the Jr. Hat Tricks, the NAHL East Division also includes: Jamestown Rebels (Jamestown, NY), Johnstown Tomahawks (Johnstown, PA), Maine Nordiques (Lewiston, ME), Maryland Black Bears (Odenton, MD), New Jersey Titans (Middletown, NJ), and Northeast Generals (Attleboro, MA).