The California Titans of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are pleased to announce that 16U forward Ethan Somoza has made his NCAA Division I commitment to Bemidji State University of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).
The 16-year-old from Simi Valley, California, is the third player off the Titans 16U roster this season to have committed to an NCAA school. Patrick Newell, who started the season with California in the NAPHL, but was sent to Fairbanks in the NAHL early in the regular season, committed to St. Cloud State University. Also committing to St. Cloud earlier this season was forward Brendan Harris.
Not only did Somoza (5’10/165) lead the Titans 16U team in scoring this season, but his 48 points led the entire NAPHL this season, both 16U and 18U. Of his 48 points, 27 of them were goals and he also picked up 21 assists. His 27 goals also led both leagues.
Somoza is coming off a tremendous final regular season event in Troy, Michigan, where he had 11 points in five games played as California posted a 3-1-1 record at the event. His biggest game may have come against previously unbeaten Omaha as he scored the game-winning goal and added an assist in a 3-1 win, as California handed Omaha their only loss of the regular season.
Earlier this season, Somoza signed an NAHL tender with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. He was named as the NAPHL Pointstreak Peak Performer back on October 3rd for his performance at the first NAPHL event of the season in Blaine, MN.
His coach, Peter Torrson had the following to say earlier about Somoza. “I think the sky is the limit for Ethan. He is a very good student so I know he has aspirations of playing in college and I know he dreams about one day of being in the NHL. I think if he can remain focused then anything is possible for him. He has really taken on a leadership role with the team this year and I think it makes him an even better player. He is more focused and works very hard on and off the ice and that has made him a more complete player.”
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)