If you look at the Northeast Generals, their forwards over the past few years are consistently up tempo, and know how to play the game in all three zones. Their group, from rookie to veteran, when at their best plays a high IQ brand of hockey.
Zachary Cline, their newest tender, and Lake Superior State commit, does all of those things. He has done those things playing for the HoneyBaked Youth Program, one of the best hockey programs for full person development in the country.
Given the departures the Generals have had up front, with players like Jonathan Young, Rickey Boysen, and many more leaving, there will be chances up front for the dependable forward to play, right away. The Generals also get another player coming to Attleboro that will be going to Lake Superior State in a few seasons.
As Head Coach Bryan Erikson said
” Zach is a super skilled forward with an amazing motor and compete level. He had offers from a few NA teams but I think our relationship with Lake State helped tip it in our favor. We expect Zach to step in and play a top 9 role right away. We expect to utilize his speed, tenacity and skill to play in all situations.”
If you compare his notes on the Generals’ tenders this summer, you will sense a theme. For the strength of its team this season, all of its forwards will have to play as a unit, and put up goals in bunches. Cline has the potential to do just that, and the backing to do so. The 5’5″ winger plays his game with a physical snarl, and high ability to score in bunches.
With the speed he brings, he will get plenty of looks to score, and carve out a path to college hockey similar to that of former Denver Pioneer, Troy Terry, or perhaps that of Colin Bilek, a player that found his stride in Attleboro and got a Division One offer and went from there. While Cline is committed to be a Laker, he can improve his profile, and maybe earn a late round selection next season with a strong showing this year.
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