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UConn men’s hockey lands biggest in-state recruit in program history

Nick Capone is the first elite player from Connecticut to commit to UConn.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn added the biggest in-state recruit in program history, flipping East Haven’s Nick Capone from the University of Maine. The forward is considered one of the best school players in New England and will come to Storrs in the Huskies’ class of 2020. He’ll also be eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft and is expected to be selected high.

Listed at 6-foot-2, 211 pounds, Capone is described as a power forward who can score but also packs a punch.

Capone should be an impact freshman in 2020, a year those within the program could be the breakthrough season.

Since moving up to Hockey East, local players have typically turned a blind eye to UConn in favor of more historic hockey powers such as Boston College or Boston University. Because of this, the Huskies have looked to Europe for elite talent, bringing in the likes of Ruslan Iskhakov, Vladislav Firstov and Yan Kuznetsov.

Capone is one of the first local Connecticut kids to make the jump to UConn after initially committing to Maine (Tage Thompson grew up elsewhere and only moved to Connecticut just before college). He is from East Haven and even spent his freshman season playing for East Haven High School before he went to prep school at the Salisbury School. However, Capone isn’t the only highly-rated local player to commit to the Huskies recently.

Earlier in September, UConn landed Oliver Flynn, an ‘03 player from Wolcott, Connecticut. As of now, he will likely be a member of the Huskies’ 2022 recruiting class — though that could change to 2021 if he develops well.

Back to 2020, UConn’s recruiting class for next season is expected to be strong yet again. Capone gives the Huskies an elite forward while John Spetz gives them an elite defenseman. Johnny Mulera, a forward who flipped from Providence, is committed as well. With those three, UConn will likely add two or three more players — at least one forward and potentially a goaltender.