Brockport will have a experienced freshman in the 2008-2009 season in Gregg Amato. The 21-year-old who hails from Ocean's Gate, New Jersey has spent the past three years playing in the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League.
Last year for the Port Hope Predators (the same team that produced Brockport's Chris Koras
) the 6'2", 200-pound defenseman posted 24 points in 49 games, leading all Predators defenders. The season before while on the Port Cobourg Cougars he was fifth on the team (first among defenders) with 31 points.
We recently interviewed him....
What's your hockey history?
I grew up playing youth hockey in New Jersey and stayed here all the way through my senior year in high school. After graduating I moved to Cobourg/ Port Hope, Ontario Canada where I was hosted by two families over the course of my three year junior hockey career in the OPJHL.
The Port Hope Predators have been one of the more competitive teams in the OPJHL. Yet, last season was tough: the team started slow, the GM and coach were suspended, and the team finished the season in a flurry, only to lose in the second round. What sort of lessons do you take from such a roller coaster season as that?
I asked to be traded to Port Hope because they were one of the top teams in the east and my coach from Cobourg from the previous season was making the jump there. The ups and downs are due to the almost daily trades. The GMs of every team are consistently trying to put the best team possible on the ice and bring in better players, but your have to have 20 guys who can fit in in the community and be respectful to the families who host us. As for losing in the second round, we were the three seed and they were the two seed. Our leading scorer was injured in the first game of the series and for the rest of the series they were a little bit better.Brockport always faces some great offenses with taller players (Oswego, Plattsburgh). At 6'2" you definitely have the size to hang with them. How would you describe your style of play?
I've played against some of the top players from all of the SUNY schools in juniors and I feel my junior experience has prepared me for college hockey. My positive attributes offensively are my vision of the ice and playmaking from the defense position. Defensively keep it simple, I try to play positionally sound and make a good first pass. Never let them know your weaknesses.Who are your all-time favorite NHL players?
I love Marty Broduer, the NJ Devils goaltender because of his standup style and amazing reflexes that no other goalie in today's NHL can compete with. Alexander Ovechkin is a very exciting forward to watch, with his scoring touch and physicality.What brings you to Brockport?
Well, some of the schools I've visited I felt like I could get shot walking to class, so I like the country, non-city, atmosphere. It just felt right when I visited. I think it's a place I can step in and make an impact on the hockey team. I like the number of students and academically the school is at my level. It's close to Canada, which I love, but not too far from home.