North American Skater - USA U-18, USHL
Final Rank: 47
Born: March 7, 1995
Born In: Bronxville, N.Y.
Santini will attend Boston College in the fall. His father, Steve, played for the University of Maine in the 1980s before opening an arena in New York.
He moved to Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2011 to join the U.S. National Team Development Program. Santini won silver medals at the 2012 Under-17 World Hockey Championship and 2013 Under-18 World Championship, where was named the tournament’s best defenseman after finishing with a plus-8 rating and leading all skaters in ice-time (163:35) in seven games.
A Westchester Express minor hockey product, Santini grew up idolizing Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf and his most memorable on-ice moment was winning the New York State Under-14 Championship.David Conte, Devils Director of Scouting:
"Through our interviews with all these players, and [the U.S. National Development team has] a lot of players drafted, quite often we'll ask them, 'If you could take one guy from your team with you, who would it be?' And he was an overwhelming choice of many of them, if not almost all of them. He's a character player, he's a big strong guy, he's a Devils prototype – we're very happy. He's going to Boston College, which you know he'll get great coaching. That was not a difficult decision at all."
"One of the greatest answers I ever got from a player was from Brendan Shanahan, and I asked him, 'Brendan, why you?' And he said, 'When there's one potato left on the plate, my fork's in it.' And I think Steve has that mentality on the ice, which is one of the things we really appreciate and value."