Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photogtaphy
For Eric Lang’s AIC program, he always wants to find players that have high end skill on the ice, and are lives. Alexander Malinowski is another one of those players, as he announced his commitment to play for LAng next year. He is in his first year of North American Junior Hockey, leading the way for the Fairbanks Icedogs in the North American Hockey League . The Swedish forward leads the team in scoring, and was voted team captain without playing one minute of time in the North American game.
Lang said if him ” we’ve got really high expectations on him, he’s got an elite brain, he’s very competitive.” Lang compared him to a hybrid of Elijah Barriga, and Jake Stella. Both of those are good comparisons for the captain of the Icedogs to get.
Fairbanks Assistant Coach Aaron McPheters took the time to talk a bit more about what Lang and AIC will see from Malinowski next season.
First, on visibility, Lang’s group did not see him play the North American game on an NHL rink until the NAHL Showcase this past September. AIC also competed against a number of schools. As McPheters said ” There was a number of schools looking to sign him. He actually had a couple offers before he come over to us. First time schools saw him play in North America was at the NAHL showcase.”
As for Malinowski, he is a true leader, as McPheters discussed ” He’s a professional at everything he does. The way he carry’s himself and does the little things to make everyone better. Don’t see many European players come over and be a captain in their first year but he’s done it and that just speaks to how much the team looks up to him. On the ice he runs our first PP unit so he’s helped our PP be as successful as it has been.” The Icdeogs are challenging for a Robertson cup this year in part because of the work of Malinowski.
The same leadership that Lang expects in his program from all players is one reason why Malinowski is a great fit at AIC next year. The Icedogs wanted him this past summer and took him in the NAHL Supplemental Draft. Since then he has shown his ability to lead, drive the play forward, and took his chance in the League of Opportunity at the NAHL Showcase to dazzle many, and earned a chance to contribute to the AIC Family for the next four years.
For Alexander, the future he wants seems to be at AIC. For AIC, the type of player they like is found in Farbanks, and the NAHL is incredibly important.
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