Meet 2003-born Jonathan Surrette. He is a 5’11” 175-pound forward from Woburn, Massachusetts who, like anyone who has ever laced them up, dreams of making it to the big leagues. For Jonathan, this dream started in his hometown of Woburn, Massachusetts.
“My parents signed me up at a learn to skate program when I was three years old. After it ended, my parents told me that I asked them if ‘I was going to play hockey again?’ After that, they signed me up to play half-ice 3-on-3 when I was a little kid, and it went on from there.”
Woburn is where he began learning the game of hockey and he played for the local youth organization up until his first year of squirts. He then made his way to the EHF, which he credits with helping him develop as a player.
“I played for the Islanders Hockey Club and Top Gun Hockey. The club hockey teams really helped me improve my game. My skills increased on the offensive and defensive side, from my shooting ability and edge-work.”
Fast forward to Jonathan’s high school career. Being a freshman on the varsity team would be a difficult task because he would be facing players three or four years older than him. But he rose to the occasion, putting up 18 points and starting every game.
“My freshman season you could tell I was new to the league, being nervous about playing against guys who were 18 years old. But it is something you get used to quickly, and you pick up right where you left off when playing fall season with kids your own age. It just took me time to get used to it, but once I did it was a great experience for me to grow as a player.”
One aspect of his game that Jonathan realized he needed improvement on was his strength. He trained hard during the off-season leading into his sophomore campaign, both on and off the ice. This helped him improve the grittier side of his game. He worked on getting stronger and faster so he could work in and out of the corners and battle for the puck more consistently. His hard work seemingly paid off.
“I finished with 32 points and had at least one point in every game except for one game we got shutout. I had a great season and my high school coach Jim Duran helped me along the way as well. He is a great guy to have in the school as the Athletic Director and he has helped me with my future hockey career.”
Jonathan is looking forward to his upcoming junior season. Whether it is on the ice trying to get the win or through off-ice comradery, Woburn hockey has been a special organization to be a part of.
“Woburn High School Hockey is really great to me. It is awesome to be with your friends and practice every day after school. It changed me as a person I think and I’m not as shy as I used to be. It is also good because you get to know the older kids on the team, and it is nice to know people of all different ages. On game day, we tend to wear shirts and ties to school with our team jackets. I’m not really sure why but it’s something the team came up with a few years ago and it’s a tradition that really stuck.”
There are some fun rivalry games too. They get the blood flowing and the adrenaline pumping. Not to mention they represent the bragging rights between rival towns.
“Our rival is Winchester. Most people like to say that because we share the same rink during the season, but I feel like there are a lot of rivalries. Although, my favorite is our game against Burlington. There is a street called Winn Street and it runs through Woburn and Burlington. We like to call it the battle of Winn Street. This year we won the game and claimed Winn Street.”
Jonathan will be playing split season in the NEFPHL on the U19 Public Catholic Team as he prepares for his high school season. There are only a few teams with public high school players, and the remainder is filled with prep kids. He found out about this league through his trainer Cody Ferriero. Cody has always acted as guidance for Jonathan as he navigates his way through the hockey world.
“I chose to play in the NEFPHL because I have been going to the Salem Icenter in Salem, NH for almost six years now. The program has always been amazing and the trainer at the rink, Cody Ferriero, is helping me out in every way possible to make me a better player. He told me I should play in the league last fall, and I did. It is a great league and this year I decided to play U19, not U18.”
Neutral Zone has recognized Jonathan’s play many times of the course of the last three seasons. He is a smooth skater with a quick release and accurate shot. He handles the puck well with speed and he plays aggressively, looking for mismatches. There will be plenty of scouts watching him play this season, and you know he will be out there competing and making every shift count. As for what’s next? He expressed a desire to further his education and become a scholarship player at the collegiate level.