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McClaine Signs with Boston Jr Advantage

By DLG, 03/29/22, 6:00PM EDT


Esmark Stars 18U Defenseman Signs NCDC Tender

Pittsburgh, PA - The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are pleased to announce that 18U defenseman Liam McClaine has signed a NCDC (National Collegiate Development Conference) tender agreement with the USPHL's Boston Advantage.

McClaine has skated for Esmark AAA Hockey for the past three seasons, 2021-'22 with the U18 AAA Midget Major Stars, 2020-'21 with the Stars U16 AAA Midget Minor squad, and the 2019-'20 season with the Stars U15 AAA Midget squad.

The (5'10", 170 lbs.) senior at Butler Area High School, registered 19 points (0 goals, 19 assists), including seven power play goal assists, in 32 North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) appearances (28 regular season and four Dixon Cup NAPHL Playoff games) this past season.

Overall this season, McClaine tallied 31 points (3 goals, 28 assists), in 61 games played for Esmark.  His numbers include a +/- rating of +36.

During the 2020-21 season, McClaine registered 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists), including 1 power play goal, in 20 regular season NAPHL games and five NAPHL Dixon Cup Playoff games for Esmark's U16 squad. He also skated for Team Demko at the NAPHL U16 All-Star game and scored a power play goal.

During the 2020-21 season, McClaine recorded 14 points (2 goals and 12 assists) in 57 games played overall for the U16 Stars.

During the 2019-20 season, McClaine notched 9 points (2 goals and 7 assists), including 1 power play goal, in 13 regular season NAPHL games and four NAPHL Dixon Cup Playoff games for Esmark's U15 squad.

And overall, during the 2019-20 season, McClaine recorded 21 points (4 goals and 17 assists) in 55 games played.

"Liam is a solid defensive D-man who plays the game the right way," said Esmark 18U head coach Dave Kosick. "He brings the ingredients you ask for from a defensive defenseman ... toughness and grit ... to the rink every day."

"But being a defensive minded d-man does not stop him from contributing on the offensive side,' Kosick added. "He was a valued member of our power play unit as he knew how to not only handle the puck and set-up the offensive zone plays, but he has great vision and is outstanding at reading the opposing team's penalty kill unit's tendencies."

McClaine becomes the fifth member of the 2021-2022 Esmark 18U AAA team to sign a tender with a Junior A club,  joining teammates forwards Shane Kozlina, North Iowa Bulls (NAHL); Hunter Fairman, Springfield Jr Blues (NAHL); and Justin McClain, Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL); and defenseman Liam Varmecky, Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks (NAHL).

The Advantage, who are based out of Hingham, MA, play in the seven-team NCDC North Division.