This past week, Curtis Frye ’13 was named to the U17 US National hockey team. A goalie for Andover’s Varsity team, Frye will now leave Andover for the US Hockey National Development Program based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This team functions as a way for the US National Hockey Program to find younger elite hockey players who have the potential to play for the United States of America in the future.
Frye’s long process of making the national team began during the hockey season this past winter. Scouts affiliated with the US National Hockey Program watched him play and were impressed with his abilities. Due to his performance, Frye was asked to tryout. He did not make the team the first time but, after another tryout, Frye capitalized on the opportunity and secured a position on the team.
Frye will be attending a local Ann Arbor high school where he will take classes while the team is still at home. His team will play games in the United States Hockey League, a league filled with elite teams from all around the country. On the road, learning will be slightly different, as tutors will teach the players the material, while the teams play in places like Canada and Europe. “We play a few tournaments in Canada and Europe at the U17 level. Although it was a difficult decision, this type of time commitment required me to leave Andover.”
Chris Krieder ’10 plays for the Junior US National Team (U20’s) and helped guide the team to a bronze medal finish in the past World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. Although he does not know Krieder personally, Frye hopes to get some advice from the former Phillips Academy standout as he transitions into a new setting.
Frye boasts a 6’4” frame and uses his size to his advantage. “Being a big hockey goalie is incredibly important. I am able to make more saves because I can cover the net more, making it difficult to score on [me].” His superior reactions are another helping point, making it easier for him to stop one-timers and wrist shots.
When he received the call from the program, he recalls being, “shocked and excited” and called it a “huge opportunity for [his] hockey career and something that would be difficult to pass up.”
Even with all the happiness attributed to making this team, Frye is also sad that he will be leaving Phillips Academy. He said, “I am really going to miss the ‘families’ that I made here. I am especially close to kids at Taylor [Hall] and on my hockey team.”
Coach Dean Boylan, Frye’s Varsity Hockey coach, said, “Curtis has worked very hard with his goalie coach, Brian Daccord and he has improved significantly in the two years he has been with us. Over that time he has been a great teammate and we wish him the very best in Ann Arbor. “
In terms of his future hockey aspirations, Frye isn’t looking too far forward. He said, “It has always been a dream of mine to play in the NHL, one that probably started when I played hockey at a much younger age. However, I first want to play in college. For now, that is my main goal.”
Keeping a steady head, Frye heads to the US Hockey National Development headquarters in the fall, ready for all of the challenges while keeping his dreams of professional hockey alive.