Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
NJ's Kenny Agostino, ex-NYR fan, dressing for Calgary tonight
Don’t really write much in this space about other team’s prospects, but we veered off today to speak with Kenny Agostino, a familiar name in metro area hockey and at Yale, who is one of the Calgary Flames new wave of youngsters, along with Sean Monahan and Joe Colborne.
Agostino, a left wing who is dressing for his fourth NHL game on Friday, grew up in New Jersey as a Rangers fan, talked about his ties to the Blueshirts and one particular New York football team after the Flames practice.
“It’s not easy being a Jet fan,” Agostino said with a laugh. “Me and my dad have such a close relationship, you see your dad root for teams and you root for them too. Everyone, me and my brother and sister, we were all Ranger fans…I don’t think anyone that’s in New Jersey is rooting for the Rangers tonight, including my family. We're all Flames fans now.”
In his bedroom at home, Agostino, who will be 22 on Sunday, said he still had “Messier posters, Graves posters, a Richter poster, I actually have a Jagr poster when he broke the Rangers single-season record for goals (54, and points, 123)… The ‘94 Cup game, I could probably recite every word of it. Probably watched it a thousand times.”
But Agostino, who is 6-1 and 200 pounds, insisted that he was “not a fan anymore…it’s my job.”
Born in Flanders, N.J., Agostino played youth hockey for the New Jersey Colonials and for Delbarton School in Morristown, where he finished with 261 points, making him the all-time leading scorer in the school's history. He also was the third-leading scorer on Yale’s NCAA championship team in 2012-13. The Flames acquired the rights to Agostino in March 2013 from Pittsburgh (who drafted him in the fifth round in 2010) in the Jarome Iginla trade, and with Yale eliminated from the NCAA tournament, the organization determined that it was time to give him a look.
His parents saw his debut here against Nashville last Friday, and friends and family were expected to be watching closely on MSG tonight, hoping that he records his first NHL point.
Agostino expects to be home in Stamford, Connecticut this summer, take some courses if necessary to finish up at Yale and train with NHL players at the highly-regarded Ben Prentiss Performance camps in Fairfield County.
Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards train at Prentiss, but Agostino will get a close up look at those veterans, and Henrik Lundqvist, tonight. “It’s going to be a really cool experience,” he said.