Mike Kennedy to Princeton University

Mike Kennedy is set to join the Princeton Tigers for the 2020-2021 season. Our NZ Scouts describe the defenseman as someone who can play in many different ways. Kennedy is very good along the offensive blue and can move laterally to create passing and shooting lanes.

After spending 4 years at Northfield Mount Herman, Kennedy was able to tally a total of 89 points:

“I went to NMH for a number of reasons. Like the college recruiting process for prep schools I saw a couple different schools. When I came to NMH and got to meet a lot of the students and faculty members, my parents and I realized that it was a good fit. NMH is not for everyone, but there is a stronger sense of grit and grind than any other prep school especially in our hockey program. Our rink, draped by tarps on two sides for walls, and other facilities may not be as appealing as other schools, but there is a work ethic embedded in the NMH hockey program like no other. Our team motto, which I think summarizes the program on the whole, is “outwork the hardest worker”. 

As a veteran at NMH, Mike was named captain during his senior year this past season:

“Being a captain on this year’s team was really nothing but a title. I was honored to be voted by my teammates and I would consider myself to have been a strong presence for getting on guys to make sure they were doing what they were supposed to, but it was not at all a hard task with the amazing group of guys we had this year. Jack Quinn and Devan Tongue did an amazing job enforcing a great culture in the locker room. From freshmen to post graduates, we had a team of leaders, which is why I thought we were so successful this year. Throughout the locker room I thought the boys improved the hockey team’s reputation on and off the ice considerably, which was important for me as a Captain.”

The recruitment process differs from player to player, he tells us what the process was like for him:

For me, the recruiting process did not really start to pick up until the end of my junior year at NMH. Entering my senior fall, schools started to show serious interest and I began taking visits. I visited schools in every league in New England, Hockey East, ECAC, and Atlantic so I feel I got a good idea for what different schools and leagues had to offer.” 

Similar to searching for the right prep school, choosing the right collegiate program is important in one’s career. After touring over 30 schools, Princeton was his school of choice:

Princeton was the last school I visited before making my decision. Once I stepped foot on campus and spent time with the coaches and players, I knew it was a great fit. The academics at Princeton are incredible paired with the coaches and their vision for the program really allowed me to see myself being successful there. The reason my family was so supportive of me going to prep school was the idea of being able to further my academics and athletics better than anywhere else. It took an immense amount of sacrifice from all of family to get me to where I am today. To show them that everything they gave up is starting to pay off means the world to me, and I know it’s the same for them.”

Because Kennedy has a gap year in between prep school and college, he has chosen to spend next season with the Nanaimo Clippers:

I’ve heard nothing but great things from the BCHL. I know the competition will prepare me for college. The quality of life and the chance to experience such a beautiful place like Western Canada was very appealing. It seems like a great league for a person to spend their junior career to mature as a hockey player and as an individual. After committing to Princeton, a few other teams reached out to me, but after looking into it, Nanaimo seemed like a great fit. In addition, it was nice being able to go with a player from NMH, Devan Tongue.”

He then explained how he plans to prepare for NCAA hockey and his mindset for next season: 

“To be quite honest, I don’t really like to count my chickens before they hatch. The biggest thing for me right now is knowing that nothing is for certain, and I need to be doing everything I can to ensure that I will be the best I can be. My biggest thing is making sure that I am getting better each day. It is all about moving forward and getting better than you were yesterday. In the summer I like to think I train hard, but more importantly, I like to think I train harder each day.”

This past season, Mike was able to net 5 goals and tally 23 assists, giving him 28 points for his senior year.


Photo credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images