In April, he celebrated his first professional hockey championship, as a member of the Watertown Wolves, a minor league hockey team based in Watertown, NY, which won the Federal Hockey League championship during its historic season this year. His team even was recognized on NBC during the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.
“This what you play for, so this means a lot to me,” said Scully, team captain, in an interview in the Watertown Daily News.
Scully was the first Wolves’ player to hoist the coveted Commissioner’s Cup, as the team celebrated winning the championship after defeating the top-seeded Port Huron Prowlers, three games to one.
Scully began playing hockey at a neighborhood rink in Arlington Heights and one of the things that drew him to Saint Viator, he says, was the chance to play high-level hockey.
He is the oldest of six Scully siblings, who all have attended Saint Viator. His youngest brother, Jim ’19, plays tennis and performs in the musical. His parents, Dennis and Rita, who runs the McKenna Marketplace at Saint Viator, are his biggest fans.
“He earned his degree, and if he can go play hockey, I hoped he could play as long as he can,” Dennis Scully said in an interview in the Daily Illini. “Who wouldn’t want to do that?”
Scully played in Saint Viator’s club program, ultimately being named to the all-state team as a senior. He played under Coach Evan Poulakidas his junior and senior years, who reached out to Scully when the Wolves won the championship.
After graduating from Saint Viator, Scully continued playing hockey, at the club level, at the University of Illinois, where he also earned a business degree. Ironically, just this year, university officials announced they are looking into the possibility of launching an NCAA team that would compete in the Big 10.
Even at the club level, Scully scored big numbers. As a senior he recorded 23 goals and 10 assists, leading his team to a 2014 Central States Collegiate Hockey League championship.
He started out with the Bloomington Thunder, before playing with the Danville Dashers and now the Watertown Wolves. He describes his current team as being a couple of steps down from the Chicago Wolves, but still considered minor league professional hockey.
“Watertown is not an official farm team for an NHL team,” Scully says, “but some guys from our league do get called up to the next level which is affiliated with the NHL.”
Scully says that getting to play pro hockey right out of college really motivated him to work hard and try to make it to the next level.
“It’s still fun,” he says. “Waking up every day to go work at the rink and do something you love is a dream come true.
“The places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, and the experiences I’ve had,” he says, “are because of the game of hockey and I couldn’t be more thankful.”