Year in Review: #16 Nick Bruce
It was a special season for the Johnstown Tomahawks in 2016-17 as a team. But individually, your Hawks reached new career highs and left an indelible mark on the franchise.
Fall River, Nova Scotia native Nick Bruce is one of those players that made his mark.
A 13th round draft pick of the Tomahawks, the Canadian forward was an efficient offensive player for the Valley Jr. Wildcats (Berwick, Nova Scotia) of the Maritime Junior Hockey League.
He scored 94 points (39 goals, 55 assists) in 96 games played in two seasons in the MJHL and he brought that Midas touch to the Tomahawks.
Bruce quickly established himself as a scoring threat with the Tomahawks. A veteran of junior hockey entering his final season, he provided the Tomahawks with valuable experience during the campaign.
Perhaps his most impressive stretch during the season was in Mid-March until the end of the season. Bruce collected 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in the final 10 games of the season, which cemented him as the Tomahawks record holder in assists in one season (40) and points (67) in one season.
He earned five East Division Star of the Week honors throughout the season for his dominant play down the stretch.
But perhaps his greatest accomplishment is securing a Division I scholarship to Rochester Institute of Technology for the Fall of 2017.
“They play an open-style of game and that will help grow as a player,” Bruce said of his commitment. “I think I’ll be able to step in and help right away.”
Letizia added to Bruce’s comments.
“Nick has truly earned his way to this opportunity with his dedication all season long to becoming an elite player for our team and the entire NAHL,” said head coach Mike Letizia. “The ability he has shown to do whatever is asked of him in all situations has been very enjoyable to see as a coach. His game thrived every time he was asked to do more and the challenge seemed bigger. He set a new franchise high for points in a season, and finished third overall in league scoring, which is the highest any Tomahawk has ever finished.”
Bruce credited the Tomahawks coaching staff and his teammates on his accomplishments during the year.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to come to Johnstown,” Bruce said in an April press release. “But I made the right decision. The coaching staff and my teammates have been great and I am very fortunate that they have helped me get a Division I scholarship.”
Not bad for a 13th round pick.