The New Jersey Titans are excited to announce that Brad Zona has committed to play Division I hockey at Army for the 2020-21 season.
Zona is a 19-year-old defenseman from Auburn, Mass. and is entering his second season with the Titans. He signed a tender agreement late in the 2018-19 season and recorded one goal in six regular season games.
“A lot of guys are happy for Brad, and he had a really good impact on the team when he joined us last year,” said Titans head coach Craig Doremus. “They care about him and respect him as person and a teammate and to see his dreams come true like that is a special feeling. It’s a really good pick-me-up as we start training camp.”
The United States Military Academy is a Division I program located in West Point, N.Y. Competing in the Atlantic Hockey Conference, the Black Knights are led by head coach Brian Riley.
“It feels great,” Zona said of his commitment. “I’m truly honored to be committed to a place like (Army), and there’s a lot of pressure lifted off my shoulders but the real work starts now. I’m really excited to get the season started.”
In addition to his six regular-season games, Zona played in eight of the Titans’ 10 postseason games. While he did not register a point in the playoffs, he proved to be a force on New Jersey’s blue line. Doremus spoke more about Zona’s immediate impact when arriving to the Garden State last spring.
“We wanted to get a little bigger and meaner on the back-end, and Brad gave us credibility in those aspects. He’s a hard, heavy, physical player who plays a really sound defensive game,” Doremus said. “He was exactly what we needed that time of the season, and since he joined us we played really well and made us difficult to face in the playoffs.”
Zona credited the Titans for landing the college commitment, and talked about some of the things he learned when advancing to the junior level. “They do everything with a purpose and I love everything they preach about the organization. There’s an emphasis on chemistry, family both on and off the ice, and it ultimately improves our on-ice result,” he said.
With training camp underway, Zona said there is less pressure to play his game with a commitment under his belt. Doremus agreed with his sentiment, but also stressed the importance of the player fulfilling his end of the bargain by continuing to play at a high level.
“There has to be a continued sense of urgency and pride. Let’s face it, until you walk on campus, nothing is guaranteed,” Doremus said. “I think for any of those guys who have a logo next to their name at this point, I would say phase one is done, now it’s phase two; continuing to earn that commitment and keep that commitment, and then making sure that when you do walk on campus, you’re ready to not only wear the jersey but play a big role for that hockey team.”
Zona said he’s confident to not only earn and maintain that commitment, but also lead the Titans to its first ever Robertson Cup appearance.
“A lot of pressure is relieved, but I’m excited to head into the season now with the commitment. We have a great group of guys and I really think we can do something special here.”
The Titans organization would like to congratulate Brad and his family as he prepares to advance his hockey career to the Division I collegiate level.