The Danbury Jr Hat Tricks are thrilled to announce that 2000 defenseman Connor Lefkof has committed to continue his academic and hockey careers at New England College in the fall of 2021. He has been an integral part of Danbury’s NA3HL teams the past two seasons. Lefkof will join teammate and fellow Frisco, TX native Cole Madzey on the Pilgrims hockey team. NEC’s hockey program, led by veteran coach Tom Carroll, has a storied tradition, competing in the New England Hockey Conference, one of the top Division III loops in NCAA hockey.
Lefkof has been a enormous part of the the defensive corps since his arrival in Danbury in the fall of 2019, playing a vital role in all situations the past two seasons. In two NA3HL seasons in Danbury Lefkof recorded 89 points on the strength of 12 goals and 77 assists while playing in all 85 games during his tenure in orange and black (Mazey was the only other player to do so). During the 2019-20 season he finished eighth in scoring among NA3HL defensemen and was tied for the league lead with 21 power play assists from the blue line. Lefkof was named the Bauer NA3HL East Division Star of the week on February 12 after scoring back-to-back game-winning goals and dishing out two assists during a weekend sweep of the New England Knights. He also earned and honorable mention for the Star of the Week on March 4 after a seven point week with three goals and four assists as Danbury fell to the Skylands Kings before taking two from the Long Beach Sharks in a three game week. Lefkof received honorable mention nods for NA3HL Defenseman of the month in October of 2019 and February of 2020 before being named to the All-Northeast Division Team as part of the NA3HL’s annual postseason honors.
During the 2020-21 season Lefkof finished fifth among NA3HL defensemen with 42 points in 38 games. His 38 assists and 13 power play assists both ranked second out of all blue liners in the league. He was named the Bauer NA3HL East Division Second Star of the week on November 10 after recording three assists in a 4-2 win over the Bay State Bobcats. Lefkof represented Danbury at both the NA3HL East Division Top Prospects Showcase in March and the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament in April.
“My time in Danbury was tremendously enhanced by the perspective of Coaches Cunningham and Allen who have always cared about so much more than just hockey. They helped me develop, not only as a hockey player, but also as a man. I learned to develop the skills necessary to be a leader and a better man, both at and away from the rink. I owe them a debt of gratitude for their support and guidance. They were of great assistance to me as I made my college decision, making sure that I picked the place that fit me best not only as a hockey player, but as a student as well. Between the rich hockey tradition at NEC and the small, tightknit community , I believe that the school will provide me with great opportunities to have successes academically, athletically and socially. And the fact that one of my closest friends and roommate the past three years, Cole Madzey, will be there as well is the cherry on top!” explained Lefkof.
Head coach Kevin Cunningham said, “This is a special commitment for our organization and me personally. Lefty has been one of the top handful of defensemen in our league for the past two seasons. He runs a power play as well as anyone I have ever coached or played with at any level. Connor has also continued to improve exponentially each year growing into a tremendous leader and representative of our program. I could not be more proud of him, the work he has put in to achieve this goal and the man that he has become. I will truly miss being around Lefty every day, but I cannot wait to watch him realize his dream of playing college hockey. at NEC!”
Lefkof is the fifth Danbury NA3HL player to make a Division III college commitment during the past two seasons. He joins Brandon Cope, who will be attending Nichols College this fall, and the aforementioned Cole Madzey who will attend New England College with Lefkof as players making commitments this season.