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Vickers commits to Stevenson University

By Anthony Di Paolo, 11/08/19, 3:00PM EST


Vickers' commitment is the team's first of the 2019-2020 season

The New Jersey 87's are proud to announce that Justin Vickers has committed to play Division III hockey at Stevenson University for the 2020-2021 season.

Vickers, a 20-year-old defenseman from Murrieta, California, is in his second year with the team. In 15 games this season, Vickers has 12 points with three goals and nine assists, and was recently named an alternate captain to the EHL team.

"He is a kid that--credit to our staff, found him--and came to the East Coast, developed his game and really bought in to everything we were doing," said 87's head coach Adam Houli. "Stevenson is getting a great kid on the ice, off the ice, and frankly that's a program that will be really good in the next four years."

Stevenson University is a Division III program located in Baltimore County, Maryland. Competing in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference, the Mustangs are led by head coach Dominick Dawes. Vickers spoke about his commitment and what the accomplishment means to him.

"It's something I've been working on for a long time, and it's something I've dedicated my whole life to," Vickers said. "To be able to watch it fall in place in front of me is really exciting."

Last season, in his first year of junior hockey, Vickers recorded 18 points (5g, 13a) in 36 games with the 87's. With 12 points in his first 15 games, the California native is well on pace to surpass those numbers and has emerged as on e of the team's best two-way defenseman. He talked about his development as a player over the last two years in New Jersey.

"Understanding the player that I am, I couldn't have done it without the great coaches that we have here,' he said. "They were able to help me understand how to play the game the right way and the things to do so you can settle in, play your game and be consistent."

In mid-October, Vickers was one of three 87's selected to the Eastern Hockey League All-Star Team and played against three Division III schools. Houli said the event was instrumental in helping Vickers commit to Stevenson.

"I think it showed that he's ready to play as a Division III athlete right now. That's what put it over the top, and that's why the event is so good for our league and good for the players who make it. It gives them a real good look at whether they can do this at the next level," Houli said. 

Vickers said the All-Star event allowed him see what it takes to play in the collegiate level, but also to bring that level of intensity back to the 87's as they continue their season.

"It got me ready to play college hockey. It was a cool experience to be able to play three college teams, and programs that have been around for a while. It was really motivating to play those teams and to be able to come back and play with that kind of fire," Vickers said.

The 87's would like to congratulate Justin and his family as he prepares to advance his hockey career to the Division III collegiate level.