SACO — C.J. Maksut put up record-breaking numbers during his four seasons as a member of Thornton Academy’s boys’ hockey team.
His ability to score goals and help his teammates score are two reasons why the Trojans have won two consecutive Class A state championship.
Then there are the intangibles.
Maksut, the Maine Sunday Telegram player of the year, simply made everyone around him better.
“The one thing we could count on, whoever we put with C.J., is that chemistry would be built very quickly,” Thornton Academy Coach Jamie Gagnon said. “His hockey IQ is through the roof, and he has that ability to build that chemistry with different kind of players.
“That’s a real strength in the locker room to be able to adapt to different guys and sort of keep that chemistry in the room. We had a lot of different guys with different personalities, and he was able to relate to all of them. That’s how he was on the ice as well. He was able to complement players and make the players around him even better, and I think that is one of his strongest assets.”
Maksut had 32 goals and 27 assists while leading the Trojans to a 20-1-1 record. He finished his career with 90 goals and 64 assists for a school-record 154 points.
Three weeks ago, Maksut became the 17th recipient of the Travis Roy Award, given to Maine’s top senior in Class A.
After Thornton won its first state title in 2011, Maksut considered moving onto a junior hockey program.
He decided to stay home.
“I grew up playing hockey with the guys and it felt right to stay in such a family atmosphere and finish out my high school career with everyone,” he said. “I knew I was going to have fun and still get better as a player. Part of it was the coaches, but I think mostly it was the guys in the locker room.”
Now, Maksut will focus on getting ready to play hockey at the next level.
Maksut already has been accepted by Quinnipiac University, a Division I school in Hamden, Conn., but he intends to play junior hockey for the next season or two to prepare for the rigors of college hockey.
“I think when you get to this level, you understand there are so many parts to the game aside and away from the rink,” said Gagnon. “There are so many more components to the game to play at the next level, from a weight training perspective, from a diet perspective, from a flexibility perspective. There are so many more things to continue on, and I know no matter what, as long as it’s outlined for him, he’ll do whatever is necessary to get to the next level.”
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: