Andoni Fimis of the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Stouffville Spirit (photo credit Ed McPherson | OJHL Images) has confirmed his commitment to join the NCAA Division I University of Vermont Catamounts.
The graduate of the Toronto Jr. Canadiens AAA program is in his rookie season at the junior level. His year of enrollment at Vermont has yet to be determined.
The 17-year-old from Richmond Hill is a 90-per-cent student in Grade 12.
“It’s a great campus, great hockey facilities,” Fimis said, “and an opportunity to get a good education – that was a huge part of this decision for me. The coaches have a really good development plan. And I felt very comfortable being on campus.”
Andoni’s older brother, Pano, opted to sign in the Ontario Hockey League after the GTHL player of the year was selected second overall by Niagara in the 2020 U16 draft. He’s now an assistant captain with the Erie Otters where he’s on pace for a 68-point season.
Andoni was a fifth round pick of the Kingston Frontenacs in the 2022 draft.
“I was always leaning toward the school route,” Adoni said. “I felt it gave me more time to mature and develop.”
In just over a week earlier this month, Andoni and his parents flew or drove to Canisius, St. Lawrence, Vermont and Holy Cross to check out facilities and speak to coaches.
“A lot of travel and stress over those 10 days,” he said. “I’m happy to have it done with and very happy to be back with the boys every day and just playing hockey.”
Spirit coach TJ Hill says there’s a lot to like about Andoni.
“Andoni is a pleasure to coach,” he told the OJHL. “His hockey IQ is very high. He is a student of the game and makes very intelligent plays every night.”
“On top of his smarts, he competes every night and is an excellent teammate. It’s a privilege to coach someone like Andoni and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with him every day.”
Andoni was a member of OJHL Team Hawerchuk that reached the final at the Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge in Trenton.
The Spirit are in Trenton Friday and home to Wellington on Saturday.
Congratulations to Andoni and best of luck in the OJHL and NCAA!
The OJHL has had more than 35 NCAA Division I scholarship commitments already this season.
Check out all our commitments here: https://www.ojhl.ca/committments/