Photo Credit: Patrick Garriepy-Patrick Garriepy Photography
One consistent that the 2020-2021 Northeast Generals had on their backend was skilled size. Players like Alex Tertyshny showed the ability to play a cerebral game, defend well, and allow the speedy forwards the group had to operate. With Tertyshny heading to AIC, Head Coach Bryan Erikson and General Manager Matt Dibble have been working to update the rear guard of the Generals with more talent.
Enter, among their other defensive tenders, Bryce Cooper. His game plays similar in terms of efficient use of size to Terythsny. Cooper comes from the Colorado Rampage, a Tier One U18 team, where he utilized his six feet six inch tall frame to lead his team from the back end. As Erikson said of Cooper
” He moves very well laterally and plays with a great edge to his game. He makes a great first pass and is quick to jump up in the play and is great with the puck on his stick. He has a heavy shot and a great release. Loved his compete level and the fact that he has finished all of his checks. He is a real force out on the ice in all 3 zones and we feel he will be a huge addition to our rebuilt blueline.”
In addition, Erikson added
” Bryce is a monster at 6’6 but is a very good skater. Very physical. Hard to play against and has a lot of offensive ability to add. We think he will slide into our top 4 next year and be able to play in all phases of our game. He has a lot of D1 potential and we expect him to get a lot of attention by Hockey East and other programs in our area almost immediately.”
In terms of finding an impact ready player who will eat a lot of minutes, through the tender system, it seems like Erikson got one of the many players he is looking for. If Cooper can increase the offensive celling to his game, then more than just Hockey East Schools will be interested in him. It is his job to get better with the tools Erikson and his staff will give him. In the long run, if he can play anything like Tertyshny, more people at the next level will know his name very quickly.
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