Aiden Stamm wasn’t initially sure if he was initially going to play high school ice hockey because he attended High Tech High School in Secaucus, only finding out that, as a Secaucus native, he was eligible to play for the Kearny-North Arlington-Secaucus tri-op team just weeks before the start of his freshman year.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to play or how that would work with that school,” said Stamm about High Tech, a Hudson County vocational school that does not have sports teams of its own. “So when I got the notice that I was going to be able to play high school, I felt great because I mean I love the game. Anytime that I’m out there, I just cherish it and it’s just a great time.”
Now a junior, Stamm has already made his imprint in the record book as the best offensive performer in the young program’s history. On Wednesday night, Stamm became the program’s career scoring leader with a first period game in KNAS’s overtime loss to Johnson.
The goal, the 101st point of Stamm’s career, eclipsed the previous mark held by teammate Matt Golon, who graduated last year with 100.
Stamm, who went on to have three goals and an assist that night, as well as a hat trick two nights later in a win over Bayonne-Belleville-McNair, now has 107 points for his career. He is also the team’s career leader in goals (61) and assists (46).
Stamm’s record breaking performances makes him The Observer Athlete of the Week.
“It’s honestly really, really great,” Stamm said about the records. “You look back and it’s something that you’ll have with you for a while. You could always say, I had the leading points for my high school. It’s just a great feeling to be able to have that opportunity to get to the 100 point mark.”
Stamm made an instant impact as a freshman when he was the second leading scorer on Kearny’s NJIIHL McMullen Cup championship team with 21 goals and 16 assists. He then added 17 goals and 17 assists as a sophomore.
This season has been a breakout season for Stamm. Through 11 games, Stamm already has a career-high 23 goals to go with 13 assists. He has scored at least one goal in all, but one contest for the Kardinals this season.
“I definitely put a lot of work in over the offseason from sophomore to junior year so it feels great to have your work pay off” said Stamm, who plays club hockey for the New Jersey Titans, who are based out of Middletown. “I think just getting older and getting stronger and becoming a little bit wiser makes it easier to make these plays and see the plates that are happening on the ice.”
“You can just tell he loves the sport and he takes every single opportunity, anytime he can get on the ice to just work on his stick handling, work on sprinting,” head coach Tim Firth said. “He puts in the work that not a lot of players do, and it shows. You don’t get to this caliber just based on natural talent, which he already has boatloads of.
“When you use the talent and you use that enthusiasm for the sport and that discipline, you can see a great player get even greater.”
With as long as Stamm has been a critical component to Kearny’s success, it’s easy to forget just how much time he has left in his high school career. KNAS (5-6 overall, 5-3 in the McMullen Division) currently has five regular season games left this season before the start of the postseason. Combined with his senior year, Stamm has the potential to put these scoring records at a level that will be out of reach for years to come.
“It’s definitely a strong possibility. He’s averaging more than two goals a game for us right now, let alone all the assists that he picks up as well,” said Firth. “I think there’s a potential tier to have a very solid record that will be practically untouchable.”
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Jason Bernstein | Observer Sports Writer
Jason Bernstein joined The Observer as its sports writer in March 2022, following the retirement of Jim Hague. He has a wealth of sports-writing experience, including for NJ Advance Media (nj.com, The Jersey Journal, The Star-Ledger.)