FOREST CITY – Alexei Pilatsky is set to bring a wide-ranging skill set to the ice as he begins his career with the Waldorf University hockey team this season.
Pilatsky, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound forward from Cape May, N.J. who most recently played for the New England Stars in the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), signed a letter of intent with the Warriors on June 27.
"Alexei is an experienced and versatile forward with the ability to play in many different roles," Waldorf coach Brett Shelanski said. "His size and skill will make him a valuable addition to our lineup."
A 2015 graduate of Bridgton Academy in Bridgton, Maine, Piltasky was a four-year varsity starter and letter winner for the Wolverines.
Following high school, Pilatsky began playing junior hockey and made his debut with the Marquette Royales in the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) Midwest Division during the 2015-16 season. He racked up 13 points, scoring four goals and providing nine assists in 28 games for the Royales.
Pilatsky also spent the 2015-16 campaign with the Seguin Huskies in the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League (GMHL) and the Long Beach Sharks in the NA3HL. He tallied eight points for the Huskies behind two goals and six assists in seven games. Pilatsky turned in two assists for the Sharks while appearing in 12 games.
Last season, Pilatsky delivered seven points for the Sharks after notching two goals and five assists in 17 games. He also contributed two assists while playing in 11 contests for the Roc City Royals of the NA3HL. Pilatsky finished with seven points for the New England Stars, netting three goals and adding four assists in 15 games.
During the 2016-17 campaign, New England put together a 33-20 record and closed out the regular season on a 10-game winning streak. The Stars brought down the Cape Cod Islanders 2-1 in a best-of-three series during the NA3HL Coastal Division playoff semifinals to advance to the divisional championship series against Long Beach.
Signing with the Warriors, Pilatsky is now set to embark on a journey that he's been pursuing since his youth. Waldorf's transition to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division sanctioned by the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) this season also adds excitement to the next stage of Pilatsky's career.
"Continuing my athletic career at the collegiate level has always been the plan," Pilatsky said. "Being able to compete for Waldorf University and an NAIA national championship is a great opportunity."
Pilatsky is the son of Tom and Amy Pilatsky. He will study business at Waldorf and said he chose to attend the university because of the "great personalities" of the hockey program's coaching staff, faculty and staff he met on campus and the opportunities that Waldorf has provided him with.
The ninth member of Waldorf's 2017-18 recruiting class, Pilatsky joins a promising group of newcomers that includes Fort Frances, Ontario forward Josh Gouin, who competed for the Fort Frances Lakers in the Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL) and the Steele County Blades in the USPHL Elite Division last season; Odessa, Texas forward Anthony Chavez from the Euless Jr. Stars in the NA3HL; Regina, Saskatchewan forward Kaden Hintz, who played for the French River Rapids in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL) and the English River Miners in the SIJHL this past season; Houghton, Mich. goaltender Ryall Purdy, who spent last season with the Chicago Bulldogs in the NA3HL and the Ironwood Yoopers in the USPHL; Dominic Lamanno, a goaltender from Oceanside, N.Y., who also played for the New England Stars for two seasons; Quincy, Mass. forward Patrick Freeman; Reedsburg, Wis. defenseman Sean Teske and Elk River, Minn. forward Jaydn Munnelly. Freeman, Teske and Munnelly are all former Dells Ducks standouts from the USPHL Elite Division.
The Warriors continued their winning tradition last year, recording the program's fifth consecutive season with at least 20 victories. They concluded the 2016-17 campaign with a 21-11-1 record, scoring nine wins over regionally-ranked opponents. During Waldorf's final season in the Northern Collegiate Hockey League (NCHL), the Warriors posted a 9-3 conference record to lock up the No. 2 seed in the NCHL Tournament and also earned their fourth straight trip to the ACHA Division II Central Region Tournament.
Waldorf, which will become a charter member of the ACHA's newly-formed NAIA Division this year, opens the 2017-18 season with a pair of exhibition contests as the Warriors play host to the Chicago Cougars on Sept. 8 at Albert Lea, Minn. and then welcome the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings to Albert Lea City Arena the following night.
With Pilatsky possessing experience from the junior ranks, he's expected to contribute to the continued success of Waldorf's program.
"Alexei comes from a very good junior program that prepares players well for the next level," Shelanski said. "We are very excited to welcome him to the Warrior hockey family."