Merrimack College has secured Nic Cherkowski for the 2020-2021 season. Nic has a big frame and is quite mobile for his size. Our scouts have praised him for his creativity and power forward style of play. He is a player that can be relied upon.
A British Colombia native, it is no surprise Nic got an early start:
“I was probably 7 or 8 when I began playing organized hockey, but there are pictures of me even younger than that and I always have a hockey stick in my hands. Most of my early memories from playing hockey weren’t about the game itself. I can remember the excitement for tournaments that our team would stay in hotels, which meant massive mini hockey games in the hotel hallways. Most of my other memories are countless hours spent freezing in backyard rinks and ponds playing shiny.”
Taking us through his NCAA recruitment process:
“The recruitment process for me was fairly brief. Merrimack was one of the first schools to reach out to me and I was immediately excited about the program and knew that is where I wanted to play college hockey.”
And on his final decision to attend Merrimack:
“It was a very large decision for myself and my family to make. When I was down on campus I loved the size of the school and how the experience is really able to be personalized to the student due to the smaller size of the school. Being around some of the players and Coach Borek, I got a very strong feeling that this program would be taking off. Everyone is very driven and very excited about the direction of the hockey team. Another major factor for me was the education side, Merrimack is a great academic school and is very connected to the community around it so I would be presented with some unbelievable opportunities after hockey.”
Having played most of his career near home, we asked about his feelings about moving:
“For me that is a very exciting opportunity. I have been playing in the same place and against similar players for a long time so for me to be able to see what else is out there in terms of hockey is really exciting.”
Nic has just finished up his first full season in the BCHL with the Vernon Vipers. The season prior he played in 1 game with the Vipers:
“For me the biggest challenges were getting cut from teams. I would never make the top minor hockey teams growing up and every year I would come into tryouts very excited and have the same result every year. Last year being so close to making the Vernon Vipers was a very tough one for me, but experiences like that have always been a motivation factor for me to improve. This season for me is a big opportunity to help develop areas of my game that need improving. Playing in one of the best junior leagues in Canada and, in my opinion, for one of the best coaches in Mark Ferner will help me immensely in order to take that next step.”
Thinking about life after hockey:
“I have had so many different ideas for careers after hockey, but have not settled on one specific idea yet. I will likely study engineering at Merrimack and would love to be able to use that and my interest in chemistry to find a career after hockey.”
Nic played 54 games with the Vipers and was able to notch 13 points. 2 came from goals and 11 from assists.