Dan Bufis has been a member of the MJHL since the 2008-2009 season when he joined the Walpole Express. In that time he has been no stranger to the back of the net. Dan currently has 152 points as a MET Leaguer and as of December he is the all time leading scorer in New Jersey Renegades history.
In doing so, he has passed his former teammate, Roman Andrejev, who was the captain of his country's world junior team and is now playing professional hockey in Europe. Bufis passed Romans 104 point mark on a road trip in late December against the Washington Jr. Nationals. Dan now has 109 (52 this season) points as a Renegade and is only 6 points away from having his highest scoring season yet. His efforts have not gone unnoticed. As the league's leading scorer, Bufis, has again been selected to the MJHL All-Star game.
Last weekend marked his first games in the Atlantic Junior Hockey League, when the Laconia Leafs called him up for their bouts against the WB/Scranton Knights. In his first two games he notched 2 points playing on the team's top unit. Coach Fay of the Leafs was very impressed with the Renegade captain, but after long deliberation Bufis decided to rejoin his club in New Jersey.
"Dan is an extraordinary player and has been our leader since he first stepped on the ice here," mentioned Coach Christopher Ceransky. "This kid had a lot of options as far as places to play this season, but he felt he had some unfinished business to take care of with our club."
"Dan could've played on just about any Tier III Junior team he wanted, but there were a few factors that kept him here," added Head Coach Cliff Graziano Jr. "For one, Tier III Jr. A teams are very expensive, but here with the Renegades we offered him to work in the rink with our youth program as well as our hockey schools to help offset the cost of our tuition which was the lowest in the MET League due to club sponsorship funds. The second factor, Dan has flourished here, as a hockey player and a person, better than anywhere else he has played much like a Matt Beattie (committed to Yale) or Roman Andrejev (Pro in Europe) have. I'd like to personally and publicly congratulate Dan for his recent accomplishments."
Renegades alumnus, Matt Beattie, was recently ranked amongst North American skaters on the NHL Central Scouting "Mid-Term" list for the upcoming 2012 NHL Draft. Last year's MJHL Best Offensive Defenseman Award winner has committed to play NCAA D-I hockey at Yale University.
The Renegade family is abuzz with the news, although they don't seem surprised.
"When a talent like Beattie comes along it is only a matter of time before he rises to the top," said Coach Ceransky. "When Matt first came to us we knew he was special. Now we know how special."
"This couldn't happen to a better kid, added Graziano Jr. "Matt is a great player, an amazing person, and an outstanding student. I would wish Matt luck, but I don't think he needs it."
"Coach Graz and Coach Chris, thank you so much for everything. I have improved more, and had more fun playing for you these past two years than I have for any other team. I really enjoyed being a Renegade, and I can't thank you enough for everything. I will definitely get my jerseys framed and I'll always remember these past two years," said Matt Beattie.
Lastly, Head Coach Cliff Graziano Jr. was contacted by the St. Louis Blues scouting department about Matt being looked at for a supplemental draft pick this year.
From all of us at the MJHL and New Jersey Renegades congratulations Matthew!