Pittsburgh, PA – The South Hills Panthers are proud to announce that 16U AAA forward William Tomko has been selected by the Jersey Hitmen in the 2022 NCDC (National Collegiate Development Conference) draft.

Tomko becomes the first player in SHAHA history to be drafted into a Junior A league directly from SHAHA. Tomko has skated for SHAHA AAA Hockey for the past 4 seasons: 2018-’19 12U SHAHA Pee Wee AA Team. 2019-’20 with the 13U Bantam AAA Panthers; 2020-’21 with the Panthers 14U AAA Bantom Major team; and 2021-’22 season with the Panthers 15O AAA Midget Minor squad.

The (5’11”, 175 lbs.) 15-year-old from Peters Township, PA, lead the Panthers in scoring by registering 69 points (37 goals, 32 assists) in 49 appearances for the U15 AAA Panthers this past season.

During the 2020-21 season, Tomko registered 39 points (21 goals, 18 assists), in 36 games.

“Will being drafted is quite an accomplishment for a 15-year-old. His dedication on and off the ice did not go unnoticed. I am sure Will would be the first to credit his teammates and coaches with helping him achieve this honor,” said Panthers 16U AAA head coach Paul Taibi “I always tell my players if you can play, they will find you.  I hope the younger players in our association recognize this. It can happen for you playing for SHAHA.”

The Hitmen, who recently won the 21’22’ NCDC Dineen Cup, play out of northern New Jersey. The Hitmen, who also won 21’-22’ NCDC Organization of the year, had 14 players on their roster commit to D1 schools including the likes of Boston University, Maine, and Penn State.

“The idea behind the NCDC Draft is that we’re looking at younger players, many being outside of our league footprint, in order that we may better inform players about the benefits of Tier II tuition-free NCDC and its pathway to college hockey,” Commissioner Bob Turow said in USPHL press release.