Governor's Academy defenseman Nick Nonis has committed to the University of New Hampshire for the fall of 2015 or 2016. The Hampton Falls, NH native will be a senior captain at the Byfield, Mass. prep school in the fall. After completing his senior season, Nonis will play a year or two of juniors in either the BCHL or USHL.
Nonis has improved drastically from the time he walked on to the Governor's campus as a ninth grader. "Nick is a hardworking defenseman that has grown leaps and bounds during his time at Governor's. He played JV as a ninth grader, was our fifth defenseman as a sophomore and played a big role as our number two or three defenseman as an 11th grader," said his prep coach, former Northeastern forward Leon Hayward.
Not only has his game improved since arriving in Byfield, Nonis has grown physically. "He was about five-feet-nine as a ninth grader and is now six-feet-three-inches. By the time he gets to UNH he could be a monster at about 220lbs," said Hayward.
His coach sees resemblances to some very good players in his co-captain for the upcoming season. "He will garner some NHL Draft consideration based on his size and skating ability. He has strong skating ability who will be a strong puck moving defenseman in college," said Hayward. "He can defend and he'll have some offensive upside. Think Adam McQuaid, or Mark White for UNH fans," said Hayward.
Nonis has famous bloodlines, as his dad is former Maine Black Bears forward Dave Nonis. The elder Nonis currently serves as the Senior Vice President for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"He is a coach's kid who loves the game and watches a ton of video. He improves each year. His dad has done a great job of not rushing him along. As someone who was not a superstar heading to prep school and because he has had to prove himself each year he knows how to work," said Hayward.
As far as future plans, Nonis is in no rush to get to Durham, but is very committed to the college route. "He will graduate from Governor's in 2014 and then head to either the USHL or BCHL for one or two years," said Hayward. "He had opportunities to go to the WHL and play for Portland, but he has always been very excited to play college hockey," added Hayward.
Recent Governor's alums who have had success in college hockey include Benn Ferriero (BC), Cody Ferriero (NU), Brian Day (Colgate), Kevin Kapstad (UNH) and Gabe Winer (UMass).
Jeff Cox covers hockey for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.