2009-10: Steve Santini played for the Brewster Bulldogs in the Empire Junior League as a 14-year-old and was part of the Westchester Express U14 team that reached the Tier 1 U14 Nationals semifinals. He also skated for his high school team, Kennedy/Putnam Valley in the New York City suburban area as a freshman. In 17 games with the Bulldogs he scored 1 goal with 5 assists and had 42 penalty minutes. Santini committed to playing college hockey at Boston College in 2013-14.
2010-11: Santini skated for New York Apple Core in the Eastern Junior Hockey League and participated in USA Hockey’s Select 16 Development Camp in June. In 44 games for Apple Core he scored 3 goals with 14 assists and had 26 penalty minutes.
2011-12: Santini moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to skate for the USA National Team Development Program’s U17 team and represented the USA in three international tournaments. In 55 games he scored 2 goals with 8 assists and had 69 penalty minutes. Santini had 1 assist in the two USHL playoff games against Dubuque. He had 2 assists in four games as the U17 team captured the 2011 Four Nations Tournament in Russia and 1 goal in five games as the USA finished second in the 2012 U17 World Hockey Challenge. The USA U17 team finished first in the 2012 Vlad Dzurilla U18 tournament and Santini skated in three games during that tournament.
2012-13: Santini returned to Ann Arbor to skate for the NTDP’s U18 team and was part of the bronze medal-winning USA squad at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship. He had 15 assists with 44 penalty minutes in 66 games for the NDTP U18 team during the year and was plus-eight with no points or penalty minutes in seven games at the WJC in Sochi, Russia. He was named the Best Defenseman of the U18 tournament by the IIHF Directorate. Santini also played in the 2012 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in Buffalo in September. He was ranked 47th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings and was selected by New Jersey in the second round (42nd overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.
2013-14: Santini stepped into the lineup for Boston College as a freshman — skating in 35 games for one of the nation’s top teams — and played for the USA U20 team at the 2014 World Juniors. Paired primarily with senior Isaac Macleod (SJS), he scored 3 goals with 8 assists and was plus-26 with 52 penalty minutes. BC was 17-0-2 in its final 19 regular season games, finishing first in Hockey East, before falling to Notre Dame in a best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal series. The Eagles defeat Denver and Massachusetts-Lowell to win the NCAA Northeast Regional and lost 5-4 to national champion Union in the Frozen Four semifinals. Santini scored 1 goal and had an even plus/minus with 4 penalty minutes in five games as the USA finished fifth in the WJC, losing to Russia in the quarterfinals.
Santini is a smart, efficient defensive defenseman that will chew up large minutes throughout a contest. His four-way mobility allows him to stick with the play from end to end. Using his large frame and quality hockey sense he can eliminate opposing forwards from the action. He excels in his own zone, displaying great awareness, patience, and responsibility on and off the puck. While his defensive skills are exemplary Santini has limited offensive skills.
Santini will return to Boston College for at least one more season. The defenseman will resume his duties as a minute cruncher while rounding out his all-around play. He is also fully healthy after recovering from a wrist injury that affected his play in 2014-15. The bruising blue liner will be joined this season by fellow Devils prospects Miles Wood and J. D. Dudek.