Most Junior hockey players and those that excel to the NCAA and collegiate levels entail a story behind how the sport first sparked their interest.
It’s an interest and love for the game which began at a young age that soon transforms into a passion and opens doors for opportunities to pursue a dream.
Junior A forward Mark Tosti “fell in love” with hockey ever since his father decided to bring him ice skating at a local rink one day to give the sport a shot. It’s fair to say the Newtown, PA native never looked back after first lacing up the skates over a decade ago.
(Revolution/Graphics & Digital Media)
Trying out the sport soon transitioned to attending Philadelphia Flyers games with his father year after year, while it continued to grow on the current assistant captain of the Philadelphia Revolution. Hockey’s aurora left a young Tosti with a burning desire and dream.
That goal to play Junior hockey and potentially excel to the NCAA level transpired into a reality for Tosti.
The 20-year-old officially committed in December to Stevenson University’s Men’s Ice Hockey team for the fall of 2020.
“It was always a dream to play in the NCAA and now that it’s finally happening – it’s pretty exciting,” said Tosti.
Stevenson also seemed like a right fit for Tosti from the get-go.
“Ever since I went down to visit, it was awesome and it was just a no-brainer,” said Tosti back in December.
The Revolution coaching staff couldn’t be happier for Tosti. Head coach Jon Rogger chimed in on Tosti’s big news and reflected on their prior history together of working on the ice.
“Any time you spend a couple of years with a player it's always amazing to watch kids grow as both a player and a person,” said Rogger back in December. “Mark has become a top-six forward for us this season and has done a great job both on and off the ice.”
Rogger also mentioned earlier this season on why his assistant captain can excel at the colligate level.
“I think he will do extremely well at the next level because he knows what it takes to stay in the lineup and how to compete for 60 minutes every night,” said Rogger. “He can be used on the penalty-kill because of his speed and knows how to get pucks out; as well as being a power-play guy because of his shot and quick release.”
(Photo Credit/EHL Photographer)
Revolution assistant coach, Joe Matiskiel, has worked with Tosti on and off the ice since the newly commit first started with the organization at the U16 level back in 2015-16. Matiskiel witnessed first-hand Tosti’s dedication to the sport and organization.
“I’m very happy for him and his family,” said Matiskiel.
“It takes a great deal of sacrifice and hard work to play in the NCAA. I was also happy for the organization as well; Mark is a home-grown player who has played U16, U18, Jr A and then committed to the NCAA all in a Revolution jersey.”
The assistant coach also appreciated the relationship Tosti and organization have developed over the years, while crediting the Junior A staff with the likes of Rogger, plus Team President and General Manager, Chris Kanaly.
“His commitment speaks to the standards we have and the great job our entire staff does of developing players,” added Matiskiel. “Mark bought into the philosophy we have here and earned his commitment. I look forward to seeing him make his impact in college.”
The “big” Flyers fan spent the pasts three seasons with the Revolution’s Junior A team of the Eastern Hockey League, while recording 55 career points (23g-32a). Yet, his progression has skyrocketed over the past season.
Tosti earned just eight total goals prior to the 2019-20 campaign – you can do the math. Those types of characteristics should bode well for the skater moving forward and making a transition to the NCAA level.
Speaking of Kanaly, Tosti expressed his gratitude for the longtime hockey advocate and credited the GM for assisting him during the entire development towards committing.
“Kanaly was a huge part in the process,” said Tosti. He offered a lot of help and played a key role in the initial communication process.”
During a recent interview, Kanaly shared the what communication process entails between the organization and potential NCAA schools.
“The process is the same with all of our players with regard to the NCAA,” said Kanaly. “Players do their part on a daily basis and perform at a high-level and then we contact schools that fit his academic and athletic profile.”
Similar to Rogger, Kanaly has no doubt that Tosti will complement Stevenson on and off the ice.
“Mark will add a nice dynamic to his new team at Stevenson University,” added Kanaly. “His compete-level, teamwork and ability to show up on the score sheet regularly will be a welcome addition to their club.”
Additionally, Tosti wasn’t shy to thank and acknowledge the entire staff.
“Kanaly, Rogger and Joe have been a huge part of my development,” said Tosti during a December interview. “Having a staff such as the Revolution is a huge part of a player’s development and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”
(The Philadelphia Revolution can be followed on Twitter @RevsJrHockey)