UConn men’s hockey added its first defenseman from the 2021 recruiting class, landing Jack Pascucci, a source told The UConn Blog. A native of North Andover, Massachusetts, Pascucci is listed at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds but could be even bigger by the time he arrives in Storrs.
He’s described as a steady defenseman that skates and features a heavy shot but also brings a physical presence to the game and packs a punch over the middle of the ice. He plays at Governor’s Academy in Byfield, MA, where he has five goals and 15 assists in 31 games played. Pascucci also plays in all situations — even strength, power play, penalty kill — something he’ll be expected to do at UConn as well.
Pascucci took an unofficial visit to UConn’s 4-3 comeback win over BU on Feb. 23 along with Brendan Fitzgerald, an ‘03 defenseman from North Reading, MA whose father is the general manager of the New Jersey Devils.
Bringing in New England kids continues to be a focus for the staff, adding Jake Flynn (2019), Nick Capone (2020), Oliver Flynn (2022) and Mark D’Agostino (unclassified) from the region along with Pascucci. However, the number of local players is expected to increase as the proposed new on-campus rink gets closer to becoming a reality.
The importance of a new arena for UConn’s recruiting can’t be overstated. As strong as the Huskies’ recruiting has been over the last few years, elite players like BU’s Trevor Zegras or BC’s Spencer Knight — the No. 7 and No. 13 picks in the 2019 NHL Draft, respectively, and two of the best freshmen in the country — wouldn’t even visit UConn without a facility comparable to the rest of the conference.
Pascucci is the third player in UConn’s 2021 class, joining forwards Tabor Heaslip and Brandon Santa Juana.
UConn still exploring options with 2020 class
The Huskies appeared to wrap up their 2020 class with forward Cassidy Bowes, though nothing is set in stone. While UConn isn’t expected to lose any contributors to the pro ranks, the team is still looking to add talent if it can — whether that be with another freshman or even a graduate transfer. However, the Huskies haven’t dipped into the graduate transfer market in a while and are generally weary of doing so, but all options are open at the moment.
Here’s all UConn’s future commitments:
2021 - Forwards Tabor Heaslip and Brandon Santa Juana; Jack Pascucci
2022 - Forward Oliver Flynn
Unclassified: Forwards Ignat Belov, Mark D’Agostino, Sean Donaldson, and Arseni Smekhnov and defenseman Malik Alishlalov