By Warren Kozireski —
When you only register 30 points in 74 games over two junior hockey seasons as a 5’9” forward, not many college programs will show interest. In this case, the college Brooklyn born John Lundy had committed to rescinded their offer due to players having an extra pandemic year of eligibility and the transfer portal.
But everything happens for a reason.
“John Lundy is an amazing story,” American International head coach Eric Lang said. “We were all set with out roster…and I got a call from his junior hockey coach (Jamestown’s) Joe Coombs who said, ‘take him and thank me later.’ We never had an opportunity to see him live.
“I called him up and said, ‘I’m running a clinic for 15-year-old kids in Stamford, Connecticut…if you show up at this clinic, I will take a quick peek at you, and we’ll go from there.’ The kid showed up at the clinic and I kind of fell in love with him as a person and saw that he was willing to do anything to make it work. Last year he kind of struggled to get in our line-up and this year as well a little bit early—shame on me.
“He gets what he deserves; he’s the hardest working, greatest teammate and one of the best things to happen at AIC hockey in a few years here. He’s a line driver so we can put him with anybody right now and everybody wants to play with him. He just said I want a spot and I’ll earn everything I get, and that’s what he did.”
To the tune of the now-sophomore being tied for the team lead in goals at the holiday break with nine and is fourth in points with 13. He also leads the third place Yellowjackets with five power play goals.
Lundy spent two seasons with the North Jersey Avalanche before jumping to the USHL with Tri-City. The pandemic sent him to the BCHL before he jumped back to the states in the NAHL with Amarillo and Austin in 2020-21 and Jamestown in 2021-22, where he exploded for 32 goals and 57 points in 60 games to get back on the Division I radar.
“I really enjoyed my year in Jamestown (where he holds the team record for goals in a season). I wasn’t performing the way I wanted to my first two years of juniors and with covid and everyone being pushed back a year (of eligibility) I’m sure played a factor, but I’m just super-grateful that coach Lang gave me a chance to play here and I wouldn’t change the path of my journey for a thing.
“I played AA until I was about 13 and there’s not any AAA organizations in the city, so I bounced between Long Island and New Jersey and I thank my parents for the toll money and the mileage on the car and all they did for me bringing me to every practice three times a week.
“Playing Division I has been my goal and my dream since I was five or six years old, so I was doing my best my last year searching for a place to play.”
Lundy uses his skating and stick-handling skills to create space in the offensive zone and is trusted with one of the point positions on the top power play unit.
“When I play confident and believe in myself, I think it helps me a lot out on the ice. When I’m confident in my skating I feel that plays a factor for the rest of my game and I’ve been blessed to play with great teammates, and they’ve been the biggest x factor in improving and getting better.
“Just taking advantage of the opportunities our coaching staff gave me,” Lundy said. “Just being ready whenever my name is called and whoever I’ve been playing with out there have been putting it on a tee for me.”
Despite all the pressures of playing Division I hockey, Lundy hasn’t forgotten where he came from, taking the time during the game warm-up to collect a puck and give it to a young fan in the stands even though it was a road game.
“I try to do it every game…I love the game of hockey and I try to put myself in a young fan’s shoes. I loved to get a puck, so I think that’s the least I can do to try to make their experience better and maybe spark a love or interest for hockey.
“I’ve had a couple of pro players do that for me. (I was) at (NY) Rangers games banging on the glass and, I already love the game, but it made me love the game even more, so I try to do that in warmups. My favorite player, Patrick Kane, actually gave me a puck and that was pretty special.”
Creating stories to remenber for others while continuing to build on his own bestseller.
(Photos provided by AIC Men’s Hockey Program)