Aurora’s Wolff turns strong senior season at Cherry Creek into EHL tender with Jr. Rangers
For the past three seasons, Brenden Wolff has skated for the Cherry Creek High School hockey program, improving yearly for the Bruins.
Earlier this month, that dedication to improvement paid off as the Aurora native signed an Eastern Hockey League tender with the Boston Jr. Rangers.
“The opportunity arose from playing under Coach Mel (Jeff Mielnicki) and in the Cherry Creek organization for the last three years,” said Wolff. “I expressed interest in moving up to the next level and getting my name out to teams in different leagues. With Coach Mel being a scout for the Boston Jr. Rangers, he reached out to Coach (Rich) DeCaprio and they decided that it would be a good fit for me out there.
“Going out to skate with the team really helped me see what it would be like playing out there. The team was like a brotherhood, and I liked the compete level that the team played with and practiced with. Another big thing that was appealing to me was the facilities that they have for the players to train throughout the season. I wouldn’t say that I am thrilled to leave home and my family, but I am ecstatic to start the next chapter in my career.”
Wolff said that competing in the NAPHL for Cherry Creek helped develop his overall game.
“Playing in the NAPHL was good competition for the team, especially a younger one than last year, and we started off doing pretty good,” said Wolff. “Going into the CHSAA season, it started off pretty rough for all of us, but throughout it all, we stayed vigilant and continued to push as we went on a seven-game winning streak to make the playoffs. On a personal level, the season went really well for me and was a turning point in my development. Not only did I play well, but I also learned a lot about leadership and what it truly takes mentally to have an outstanding year.
“This season has prepared me for juniors because it is going to be a different compete level and this season has taught me a lot about perseverance and mental toughness. Playing top teams in the NAPHL and CHSAA has really extended the level of teams that we were able to play and has got me ready for what other leagues may hold. I expect to continue developing physically and mentally as I still have a lot to learn.”
Back home, in addition to Cherry Creek, Wolff played for the Littleton Hockey Association, Colorado Evolution and Denver Jr. Pioneers.
“Some of the coaches that have really stood out to me compared to others would be Jeff Mielnicki and James Angelicola, my two head coaches throughout my career at Cherry Creek,” Wolff said. “These two were the most positive in my career because they both helped me grow as a player and a person and put their trust in me throughout the year.”
Looking ahead, Wolff’s goals are simple and realistic.
“My short-term goals are to continue taking it step by step and continuing to grow,” said Wolff. “While in juniors, I plan to take a class a semester just to stay in school and that way I do not start my eligibility.
“Long-term goals for hockey are to hopefully play NCAA hockey and continue my career as far as I can after that. For school, I wish to pursue a degree in Engineering at a four-year university.”
— Matt Mackinder
(March 11, 2022)