Ferraro Bros. showcase Long Island hockey
Chris and Peter Ferraro are Long Island born and raised. They know the pulse of Long Island hockey and know how hard it is to get noticed on the Island.
“There’s not much exposure here on Long Island and in order for these players and their talent to be seen you need to leave Long Island and go to Boston or any hockey hotbed,” Chris Ferraro, founder of Ferraro Brothers Hockey said.
So the former NHL twin-brother duo decided to do something about it.
They pooled their resources together, contacted numerous college and prep school coaches, and got a few sponsors culminating in the first annual Ferraro Brothers Hockey Showcase from the Dix Hills Skating Rink in Dix Hills, Long Island.
About 80 hockey players aged 14-17, mainly from the Long Island area, competed in the two-day affair which featured on-ice sessions by College Hockey Inc. and Bauer, along with various showcase games for about 10-15 college and prep school scouts that were on hand for the first annual event.
“It’s your first year, you’re going to take your bumps and bruises in your first year, but this was very smooth,” Peter Ferraro, President/CEO of Ferraro Brothers Hockey said. “The fact that we got this type of turnout from the colleges and scouts it was an amazing success. You take this and grown from it and expand.”
Schools that attended include Boston University, Yale, Colgate, RPI and Northeastern University.
The Ferraro’s called upon some of their friends to help out behind the benches. Two of those were NHL Network color analyst Billy Jaffe, as well as NHL Hall of Famer and former NY Islanders and NY Rangers forward, Pat LaFontaine.
“It’s great for Long Island hockey. We’ve always had some great hockey players and we’ve got some great tradition,” LaFontaine said. “It’s nice to get some exposure from colleges and college coaches and scouts and Peter and Chris have done a super job.”
The former New York Islander and Ranger patrolled the benches during the first All-Star game on Sunday to impart his wisdom on some of the young players. More importantly, he knows how tough it is for Long Island hockey players, and let alone American hockey players to get a look at from colleges and scouts.
“When I was growing up in Michigan, there weren’t a whole lot of players that I knew from my state that went on to play pro hockey,” LaFontaine said. “You had to pave the road and create your own example and these kids today now have that from some former Long Island players.”
"It’s nice to get some exposure from colleges and college coaches and scouts and Peter and Chris have done a super job," LaFontaine added.
One of those players that LaFontaine stood behind was Portledge sophomore Jeremy Bracco. The 15-year-old right-winger has already committed to Harvard and competed at another hockey showcase in Chicago the previous week.
“It’s a great experience,” Bracco said of LaFontaine and Jaffe involved at the showcase. “I got to play with (Pat’s) son (Daniel). He’s a great player. With Pat being in the Olympics and Bill (Jaffe) played in the NHL as well so it was a great experience to learn from what they can say.”
Jaffe believes that the first annual showcase will bring more awareness to Long Island hockey and will give something that Long Island ice hockey players can look forward to.
“It gives you something to shoot for each year,” NHL Network’s Jaffe said. “Of course you have your club team during the regular season but then as they continue to develop this and make it even better it will be something that kids will say ‘I want to be a part of that.’ It’s the type of event that hopefully kids will put on their calendar every summer.”
If you’re a young hockey player and you missed out on this year’s showcase, have no fear. There are plans for a second annual event.
“After such a successful turnout our sights are definitely set,” Peter Ferraro said. “We can’t wait until next year.”
For more information on the Ferraro Bros. Hockey Showcase, visit www.ferrarobrothershockey.com.