KEARNEY, NE. – The Tri-City Storm has announced the signing of defenseman Matthew Virgilio to a tender agreement for the 2022-2023 season. Virgilio currently skates for the St. Andrew’s College Saints in Aurora, Ontario.
Matthew Virgilio, 15, of Vaughan, Ontario, has appeared in forty-two games during the 2021-2022 regular season for St. Andrew’s College and has scored seven goals. He has also provided the Saints offense with sixteen assists for twenty-three total points. Virgilio previously skated for the Toronto Marlboros AAA program in Toronto, Ontario before joining St. Andrew’s College for this season. He previously announced a commitment to play collegiate hockey in the future at the University of Michigan.
“I am extremely excited to sign with the Storm for the upcoming season! It is an unbelievable organization that spends so much time on its player development. The Storm produces elite hockey players who go on to play at the college and professional levels. I am super excited to get started and I could not be happier with my decision. My short-term goals as a hockey player are to become a smarter, stronger, and faster player. In the long term, I am working towards playing at the college level, and like many young players, the ultimate goal is to potentially play in the NHL one day. In my opinion, the USHL is the best junior league in the world. There are countless NHL players who trace their development back to the USHL. The competition is tough, and there are many elite players on every team who constantly getting better.” – Defenseman Matthew Virgilio
“After extensive conversations and a visit with Matthew, there is no doubt that he checks the boxes of what we look for in a tender. He is an elite hockey player with a lot of room for growth in his game. Also, he is mature beyond his years socially, and has the drive to get better and take advantage of the development resources we have in Tri-City. We are thrilled to welcome him to the Storm, and we look forward to seeing him grow.” – President of Hockey Operations/Head Coach Anthony Noreen
“Having been out on the road this season and getting a chance to watch the top 2006 born players and defensemen - there is no doubt Matthew Virgilio is one of the top defensemen and overall players in North America in his birth class. He is extremely mature (both physically and mentally) and focused, and he is ready to have success in the USHL with our club next season. A complete "two-way defender", Matthew projects to help anchor our blue line during his time with us and develop into a top-pair defenseman capable of playing in all situations with the team. What impresses me the most thus far in his young career is that he is playing up two levels already and is counted on to play against top opponents in critical situations and is thriving as a playoff-type player. Matthew is currently developing at the U18 / prep hockey level with a standout program in St. Andrew's, with a proven coach and staff led by David Manning who has helped develop a number of recent impact junior / college / and NHL draft prospects out of the Ontario area. We are thrilled for this announcement for our club and the USHL and we thank Matthew and his family for taking the time to do their homework and visit with us in Kearney and make this important decision by allowing us to help develop Matthew in his future hockey career.” – General Manager Jason Koehler