Jr. Coyotes standouts Stuart, Hymovitch choose NCAA schools
For both Riley Stuart and David Hymovitch, staying home to play for the Jr. Coyotes has provided numerous opportunities for each to take their game to the highest level.
And while Stuart will play in the USHL and Hymovitch with the Jr. Coyotes’ 16U AAA team this season, the future will see both hone their skills playing NCAA Division I hockey as Stuart will come back to the desert to play for Arizona State University and Hymovitch will venture to Connecticut to play for Quinnipiac University.
Stuart’s older brother, Connor, currently plays for the Sun Devils.
“I’ve always loved playing and representing Arizona hockey,” said Stuart (pictured above), playing this season for the Dubuque Fighting Saints. “I took my time and didn’t want to rush this process. I’ve seen my brother go through his freshman year and it’s been a dream of mine to join him. Along with that, there’s no better place to play than your home state. We are not sure if we will get the chance to play together, but it will always be a dream of mine to play alongside my role model.”
Hymovitch said he was scouted by Quinnipiac over the summer at the USA Hockey National Player Development Camp in New York. After that, things fell into place rather quickly.
“When Aug. 1 came up, which was the first day they could offer me, (Quinnipiac head coach) Rand Pecknold was my wake-up call that morning as they were the first school to reach out that day,” explained Hymovitch (pictured below). “Everything kind of happened really fast, so I was still new to the recruiting process and did not really know what to expect. However, my coaches and parents kept me grounded and humbled. We ended up setting up a visit and I fell in love with the school when I went over there with my mom in September.”
Developing with the Jr. Coyotes has been a boon for both Stuart and Hymovitch.
“I played for the Jr. Coyotes for six years and there’s nothing better than staying home and being loyal to one organization,” Stuart said. “Our team ended up having a lot of success due to the coaches we had. All the coaches in the program that I have worked with have helped me improve and formed me into the player I am. The coaches that have helped me make the jump the last two years were Mike De Angelis and Shane Doan. Coach Mike always believed in me and gave me the opportunity to succeed. Coach Doan taught me how to be a leader and how to play a big, strong game.
“I have a lot of memories playing for the Jr. Coyotes. My top memories would be making nationals three years in a row, winning districts two of those years, and having great teammates and coaches along the way.”
Hymovitch looks to be a key member of the 16U team this year and hopes to find his squad playing for a national title next spring in Michigan.
“I certainly believe playing for the Jr. Coyotes has played a huge role with my hockey development,” Hymovitch said. “For several years (2007-17), I was lucky enough to be coached by Steve Potvin and ex-NHLer Tyson Nash. Not only did they teach and enforce the skills needed to be an elite player, they also taught me to go above and beyond what I thought I was capable of. Nick Naumenko, who is now coaching me for a second straight year, has helped transform me from a highly-skilled individual into an impactful two-way team player. Coach Nick has that special knack of knowing how best to get the most out of each and every one of his players. Lastly, Marc Fritsche has had faith in me by picking me for his teams that participate in international tournaments these past several years, which provided me with many memories and experiences to bring wherever I play.
“There have been so many great memories playing for the Jr. Coyotes over the years.”
— Matt Mackinder
(Oct. 25, 2019)