Esmark 18U defenseman Stoner signs NAHL tender
The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) are pleased to announce that 18U defenseman Zachary Stoner has signed a North American Hockey League (NAHL) tender agreement with the Johnstown (PA) Tomahawks of the NAHL’s East Division.
The 18-year old Leesburg, VA native, who is a graduate of Heritage High School, in Leesburg, is in his first season with the U18 AAA Stars. Prior to joining the U18 squad, Stoner previously skated for the Washington Little Capitals.
"Zachary is a quality defenseman with good body size who exceeds in both the offensive and defensive sides of the game," Esmark Stars U18 head coach Dave Kosick said. "He has attracted attention from multiple teams ... including both NAHL and USHL teams."
“Having the opportunity to work in our system and to work closely with Yuri Krivokhija (Esmark’s 18U assistant coach) has allowed Zach to step out and showcase his skills,” Kosick added.
To date, during the 2020-2021 season, Stoner (6'2", 180lbs.) has tallied 13 points (3 goals, 10 assists), including one power-play goal and two game-winning goals, in 16 North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) regular season games. And 22 points (5 goals, 17 assists), including two power-play goals and a team leading +24 plus/minus rating, in 34 regular season games.
Stoner was also selected to participate in the 2020-2021 NAPHL All-Star game for Team Matthews.
"Zachary is the next defenseman in line who will continue to build upon the strong relationship between Johnstown and Esmark," Kosick said. “We have been able to provide Johnstown with several quality blue-liners of the past few seasons … including current Tomahawks defenseman Ethan Webb and Dustin Geregach.”
Stoner is the third Esmark player to sign a tender with an NAHL club thus far during the 2020-2021 season, joining Nathan Dickey, goaltender, Kenai River Brown Bears and Ryder Brophy, forward, Lone Star Brahmas.
A tender is a contract, of sorts, a player signs announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Each team is granted ten (10) tenders, which include two (2) tenders exclusively used on players from the NAPHL - plus or minus any trades - which became active on Nov. 1. Tendered players are not eligible for the 2021 NAHL Draft.