Ryan Berke is in the middle between his Jersey Hitmen linemates Nolan Patrick (left) and Jack Noel.
Ryan Berke is in the middle between his Jersey Hitmen linemates Nolan Patrick (left) and Jack Noel. (Jess Collum)

Next season will be Ryan Berke’s fourth and final season of junior hockey eligibility.

It was a season of mixed emotions for Ryan Berke.

The 19-year-old forward from Farmington Hills had 10 goals and 16 assists in 41 games for the Jersey Hitmen Tier III team in the United States Premier Hockey League’s Premier Division.

The Wayne, New Jersey-based Hitmen finished 17-24-3, in fifth place in the seven-team Atlantic East Division and missed the league playoffs.

Ryan Berke
Ryan Berke

“This was the first time in my hockey career that I was on a losing team,” Berke said. “I’ll admit that was frustrating at times.

“I didn’t play as well as I thought I could, but I was still No. 2 on the team in points, and I feel I matured emotionally as a player.”

With last season in the rear-view mirror, Berke said he’s looking forward to a May tryout camp for the Hitmen Tier II team in the National Collegiate Development Conference and playing for the U.S. open division (ages 19-40) hockey team in the Maccabiah Games in Israel after a July 2-5 team training camp in Philadelphia.

Next season will be Berke’s fourth and final season of junior hockey eligibility. His ambition is to play college hockey, hopefully at a Division I school, after his junior days are over.

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