Pittsburgh, PA - The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are pleased to announce that 18U forward Keith Smilowitz has signed a NCDC (National Collegiate Development Conference) tender agreement with the USPHL's Boston Advantage.
Smilowitz has skated for Esmark AAA Hockey for the past seven seasons: 2021-'22 and 2020-'21 with the U18 AAA Midget Major Stars; 2019-'20 with the Stars U16 AAA Midget Minor team; 2018-'19 season with the Stars U15 AAA Midget Minor squad; 2017-'18 with the Stars U14 AAA Bantam Major team; 2016-'17 with the Stars U13 AAA Bantam Minor squad; and his first season with the Stars program, 2015-'16, and the Stars U12 Pee Wee Major team.
The (6'0", 185 lbs.) Sarver, PA, resident, is a graduate of Freeport Area High School. This past season, he registered 18 points (8 goals, 10 assists), including two power play goals, in 32 North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) appearances (28 regular season and four Dixon Cup NAPHL Playoff games).
Overall this past season, Smilowitz tallied 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists), including 4 power play goals, in 59 games played for Esmark.
During the 2020-21 season, Smilowitz registered 8 points (4 goals, 4 assists), including 1 game winning goal, in 22 regular season NAPHL games and five NAPHL Dixon Cup Playoff games for Esmark's U18 squad.
During the overall 2020-21 season, Smilowitz recorded 34 points (16 goals and 18 assists) in 67 games played overall for the U18 Stars, helping the Stars U18 squad to a spot at the USA Hockey National Championships.
During the 2019-20 season, Smilowitz notched 19 points (14 goals and 5 assists), including 1 power play goal, in 16 regular season NAPHL games and four NAPHL Dixon Cup Playoff games for Esmark's U16 squad.
During the 2018-19 season, Smilowitz recorded 6 points (4 goals and 2 assists), including 1 game winning goal, in 12 regular season NAPHL games and four NAPHL Dixon Cup Playoff games for Esmark's U15 squad.
"Keith has always had a great instinct for finding the net," said Esmark 18U head coach Dave Kosick. "His size and style of play are best fit as a power forward ... but he also has a high-end ability with the puck."
"Whether shooting or stick-handling," Kosick added, "Keith has worked hard on adding additional skills to his game that should allow him to fit many roles."
Smilowitz becomes the sixth member of the 2021-2022 Esmark 18U AAA team to sign a tender with a Junior A club, joining teammate Liam McClaine in signing with the Boston Jr. Advantage (NCDC); as well as 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.