graduate Ken Trentowski can’t imagine doing anything else other than his present job as a defenseman for the Brooklyn Aviators of the Federal Hockey League (FHL).
“It’s been real fun. I am having a good time,” Trentowski said after the Aviators’ 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Outlaws on Dec. 9. “I am home playing pro hockey, getting paid for something I love doing. After a long career up the ranks, it’s finally nice to get paid for it.”
Avon Old Farms
Trentowski began playing the sport at the age of three, and skated for many youth and travel hockey teams as a kid, always dreaming of joining the professional ranks someday. That’s why he decided to attend Avon Old Farms School, an all-boys private high school, instead of pursing the juniors, because he knew its hockey program would make him a better overall player while providing him with a topnotch education.
“I wanted to go to a good high school because I have had people tell me that college is the way to go,” explained Trentowski, who won two New England High School Championships with Avon Old Farms, one in his sophomore year and another as a senior. “I knew if I went to a prep school, I have a better chance to get into a better college, which wound up working out for me.”
Avon Old Farms prepared the Ronkonkoma, NY, native so well — academically and hockey-wise — in fact, that Yale University (NCAA Division I) in New Haven wound up recruiting him to play the sport.
Trentowski enjoyed a solid career at the college, registering two goals and 13 assists for 15 points in 93 career games for the Bulldogs (2007-11), winning ECAC Championships in 2009 and 2011 and three consecutive Ivy League Championships from 2009-11.
“We always been rather successful, and it was a great four years,” the 23-year-old rookie said of starring for Yale. “I miss it, but I am glad to be where I am.”
After starting the 2011-12 season in training camp with the Florida Everblades of the East Coast Hockey League (AA), Trentowski would up being sent to the Augusta RiverHawks of the Southern Professional Hockey League (A) to start his professional career. But his time in Augusta was short-lived, only lasting two games due to lack of room on its roster.
Looking for a place to showcase his hockey abilities and continue his pro career, Trentowski considered the Aviators organization. He had heard of it through a few current and former players, including Carmine Vetrano, broadcaster and media relations representative and a fellow Long Island native.
Aviator head coach Rob Miller liked what he saw in Trentowski, and inked him to a contract. Fortunately for the blue liner, it has worked out thus far in Brooklyn, where he has played well, scoring four goals and eight helpers for 12 points through 17 contests. His solid play has helped the club post 31 points in 20 games—good for a tie for fourth place in the eight-team league.
“I feel good, I am happy to be playing here, and everything is going well right now,” Trentowski said.
The added benefit of playing in Brooklyn, Trentowski said, is the proximity to where he lives in Long Island, allowing his parents to see him in action on weekends.
“They can come and watch, they get some enjoyment out of it, and it’s right in their backyard,” the 6-foot-1, 185-pounder said. “So, it’s something for them to do on the weekends now.”
Since it’s considered Single-A hockey, three rungs below the NHL, Trentowski isn’t overly concerning himself with making “The Show.”
However, as far as getting called up to the next level (the Aviators are directly affiliated with the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers, who have direct ties to the AHL (Triple-A) clubs of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens), Trentowski said, “I would love to, but it’s not going to change how I’m playing here. I love it here, and I’m going to play my game. If it works out, it works out. If doesn’t, not much is going to change in my eyes.”
And Aviator fans and teammates alike are happy that Trentowski hasn’t altered anything about his game, especially his winning attitude.