Pittsburgh, PA - The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are pleased to announce that 18U defenseman Logan Dittenhafer has signed a NCDC (National Collegiate Development Conference) tender agreement with the USPHL's Wilkes Barre Jr. Knights.
The 2022-23 season was Dittenhafer's initial with Esmark's AAA Hockey's 18U team.
The (6'5", 220 lbs.) 19 year-old from Pequea, PA, registered 10 points (10 assists), in 32 North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) appearances (24 regular season and four Dixon Cup NAPHL Playoff games) during the 2021-22 season.
Overall this past season, Dittenhafer tallied 19 points (3 goals, 16 assists), including 2 power play goals, in 61 games played for Esmark.
"Logan has the gift of size and reach," said Esmark 18U head coach Dave Kosick, "and that enticed a lot of interest from Junior teams."
"Add an extremely hard shot and great game sense approach to that frame," Kosick added "and it is very easy to draw a comparison to an 18 year-old Zdeno Chara"
Dittenhafer becomes the ninth member of the 2021-2022 Esmark 18U AAA team to sign a tender with a Junior A club. He joins teammate Ethan Zupanc, forward, in signing with Wilkes Barre (NCDC); Ray Janik, defenseman, Islanders Hockey Club (NCDC); Keith Smilowitz, forward, and Liam McClaine, defenseman, who both signed 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 Knights, who return to Junior A hockey in the USPHL's "Tuition Free" NCDC Conference after a couple year hiatus from elite Junior A hockey, will be based out of Pittston, PA, and play in the eight-team NCDC South Division.