Nicoletti: Top 10 Johnstown Tomahawks Forwards of All-Time
by David Nicoletti
As the 2020-21 NAHL season is right around the corner, the Johnstown Tomahawks are preparing to take to the ice for their 9th season. Almost reaching their decade milestone of ten years of hockey in Johnstown. Throughout all the players that come and go, and all the history surrounding the team during the years, I came up with the idea to bring you all the Top 10 best forwards in the history of the Johnstown Tomahawks.
This list will be based upon the players overall stats while members of the Johnstown Tomahawks.
10. DONOVAN OTT
To start off our top 10 list, Donovan Ott was a part of two seasons with the Johnstown Tomahawks where the Lebanon, PA native put up a career total of 39 goals, 33 assists, and 72 points, in 74 games with the team.
Ott has always been one of my favorite Tomahawks. He was definitely a true MVP with his style of play. That’s what I love about these types of players.
As of now, Ott is currently with the Utica College Pioneers, an NCAA Division III school in Utica, New York playing in the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC). In his time in Utica, Ott has put up 11 goals, 18 assists, and 29 points, in his 29 games with the club.
9. CAMERON HEBERT
At number nine on our list, Cameron Hebert took part in just one season with the Johnstown Tomahawks in 2018-19. Putting up an outstanding 78 points (26 goals, 52 assists) in his lone season with the Hawks. The St. Andrews West, Ontario native also put up 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in his 13 games in the 2019 NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs with the Tomahawks, leading them to a Finals appearance.
Hebert made an impact in Johnstown and did everything he could for the team racking up a lot of points. He’ll always be a favorite of mine.
As of now, Herbert is currently playing at Robert Morris University, an NCAA Division I school playing in the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA). In his first season at Robert Morris, he scored one goal, two assists, in 18 games with the Colonials. His sophomore season is just right around the corner.
8. LUKE LYNCH
Coming in at number eight, Luke Lynch played in two seasons for the Tomahawks from 2014-15 to 2015-16. The Pittsburgh native put up a career total of 44 goals, 34 assists, and 78 points, in his 113 games with the team.
He was tied with Andrew Romano for top Tomahawks scorer during the 15-16 season, scoring 56 points (29 goals, 27 assists), and receiving honors as being a part of the NAHL All-East Division Team.
I loved Lynch as a player, and I continue to do so to this day. There was always that night where I went down to the games and he always lit up that lamp, and that's what I love about players like him. As of this article, Lynch has signed his first professional contract with the Wheeling Nailers of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).
7. ROMAN KRAEMER
At number seven, Roman Kraemer spent three seasons with the Tomahawks from 2016-17 to 2018-19, where the Pittsburgh native put up a career total of 34 goals, 45 assist, and 79 points, with 108 games played with the Hawks.
He was recognized as part of the NAHL All-East Division Rookie Team during the 2017-18 season where Kraemer put up 38 points (21 goals, 17 assists) in 59 games with the Hawks.
Kraemer, in my opinion, was definitely one of the fan favorite players in Johnstown. Everyone loved watching Roman play. Watching him during the pregame warmups was something special.
As of today, Roman is currently playing for Robert Morris University. So far, he has put up three goals, and three assists in 31 games with the Colonials. His sophomore season with RMU is slowly approaching.
6. ANDREW ROMANO
At number six on our top forwards of all time list, Andrew Romano took part in two seasons with the Johnstown Tomahawks from 2014-15 to 2015-16. In his time with the team, the Drexel Hill, PA native registered a career total of 24 goals, 56 assists, and 80 points, in 118 games with Johnstown.
He was tied with Lynch in scoring during the 2015-16 season, putting up 56 points (17 goals, 39 assists). He was recognized as a part of the NAHL All-East Division Team during that season as well.
I was also a real big fan of Romano’s style of play. Like Lynch, there was always a night where I went down to the rink and Romano always recorded points on the score-sheet. No matter if it was a goal, or an assist. I loved watching him play, and so did many others.
As of today, Romano has signed his first professional contract to play with the Maine Mariners of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). His debut season in Maine is coming real real soon.
5. DALTON HUNTER
Our number five top forward of all time belongs to Dalton Hunter. Hunter played in three seasons with the Johnstown Tomahawks from 2014-15 to 2016-17, where he registered 38 goals, 49 assists, and 87 points, in 146 games with the team.
He was the NAHL (East) Forward of the Year, and was added to the NAHL All-East Division Team, with his accomplishments made during the 2016-17 season where the Greensburg native put up 61 points (30 goals, 31 assists) in 58 games.
Hunter in my book was always a player I loved to watch. To me, I would like to think of him as a power forward almost. His aggressive style of play to put up points and do anything to get the team and fans pumped up. That’s what I loved about Dalton.
As of now, Hunter is currently playing at Mercyhurst University, a NCAA Division I school in Erie, PA, playing in the Atlantic Hockey Association (ACA). So far with the Lakers, Dalton has registered 18 goals, 27 assists, and 45 points, in 66 total games with the team. His junior year is coming up and around the corner real soon.
4. CASEY LINKENHELD
At number four, from Barlett, Illinois, Casey Linkenheld played in three seasons with the Tomahawks pilling up a career total of 45 goals, 56 assists, and 101 points, in 125 games with Johnstown. With a side of nine career playoff games, racking up four goals and five assists.
I loved Linkenheld as a player, like the two others on this list, there was always a game where he always recorded on the score-sheet. When that happens, that’s when you become a fan of mine, and many others. For sure a fan favorite player in my opinion.
As of today, Linkenheld has finished up his time with Bowling Green University, where he put up 10 goals, 12 assists, in 93 games with the Falcons.
He posted a video on his social media June 26th, captioning “Hard saying goodbye to something you’ve done your entire life”, meaning that Casey’s time on the ice has most likely come to an end. Unless, he gets offered a professional contract that is. But only time will tell to see what happens.
3. CHRISTIAN GORSCAK
At number three, Christian Gorscak played in part of three seasons with the Johnstown Tomahawks from 2017-18 to 2019-20 where in his 155 games with the Hawks he tallied a career total of 42 goals, 59 assists, and 101 points. With a side of four points (two goals & assists) in 13 playoff games during the 2019 NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs.
Following his 51 game season with 25 goals, 39 assists, and 64 points in 2019-20, Gorscah won NAHL (East) Forward of the Year, NAHL (East) Most Valuable Player, NAHL Forward of the Year, had the most points in the NAHL, was named to the NAHL All-East Division Team, and NAHL All-NAHL Team, and was the NAHL Most Valuable Player.
I loved watching this kid play. Watching him from the start of the warmups to the end of the game, this kid can fly. All the awards he was awarded at the end of the season, he for sure deserved. He will for sure be missed in Johnstown.
As of now, Gorscak intends on going to college at Niagara University in Lewiston, New York, to play NCAA Division I hockey for the Purple Eagles of the Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA).
2. CARSON BRIERE
At number two, Carson Briere spent two seasons with the Johnstown Tomahawks. In 98 career games with the team, Carson collected 54 goals, 57 assists, and 111 points with the Hawks. He also had 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 12 playoff games during the 2019 NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs, helping the Tomahawks to a Robertson Cup Finals appearance.
Following his 2018-19 44 goal, 45 assist, 89 point season., the Haddonfield, New Jersey native won NAHL (East) Forward of the Year, and NAHL (East) Most Valuable Player. Briere was also a part of NAHL All-East Division Team, and NAHL All-NAHL Team.
I loved Carson, his Johnstown Chiefs themed jersey I won in an auction is for sure a keeper. Still to this day is my favorite Hawks jersey I own. Every night I went down to the game he always lit up the lamp. It was a pleasure watching him play, and I will miss that style of play that Carson brought every night to the rink.
Carson is the son of former NHL center Daniel Briere, who put up a career total of 307 goals, 389 assists, and 696 points, in 973 games in the league. Playing for the Phoenix Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, and Colorado Avalanche in his 17 year career.
For Carson today, he is currently about to start playing his college career at Mercyhurst University.
1. SAMUEL SOLENSKY
Finally at number one on the list. Samuel Solensky. Is this one really a surprise? Solensky played in three seasons with the Johnstown Tomahawks where in 134 career games with the team, Solensky scored 50 goals, 105 assists, and 155 points. With a side of 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 13 playoff games for the Hawks during the 2019 NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs leading them to a Finals appearance.
Following Solensky’s 24 goals, 62 assists and 86 point year in Johnstown during the 2018-19 season he was a part of the NAHL All-East Division Team, and NAHL Second All-Star Team. Also leading the NAHL that year in assists.
He is also the only player on our list that was honored with his own bobblehead during the Tomahawks season. That bobblehead is for sure a keeper as well.
Solensky is a player I always had to keep my eyes on when he was on the ice. It was special watching someone like him play in Johnstown. Everything he brought to the team is something that will always be appreciated by the Hawks organization, and the fans. He will sincerely be missed here in Johnstown.
As of today, Solensky is currently playing with the Bemidji State University Beavers. An NCAA Division I school located in Bemidji, Minnesota. Playing in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). During his time so far in the state of hockey; Solensky has put up two points (one goal & assist) in 10 games with the Beavers. His sophomore year is rapidly approaching.
And ladies and gentleman, there you have it. The Top 10 Forwards of All-Time for the Johnstown Tomahawks. Don’t forget to give us your thoughts about this top 10 list. Did you like it? Could it be improved? Should someone that wasn’t on the list be on the list?
I plan on doing more countdowns like this, but for now, I hope you enjoyed this one.
Leave us a comment on social media or here in the comments on your Top Ten Tomahawks Forwards of All-Time.