Thoughts on the New NHL Hawks

With UND’s season ending multiple players have signed NHL deals over the past week and a half. Here are some thoughts about what each player brings to their new squad.

Brock Boeser-Vancouver Canucks

Canucks fans, do you like having a consistent sniper on the wing who can score more than 30 goals a season and out skate the other team? If so Brock Boeser could one day soon be the answer to the eternal, ‘who plays with the Sedins’ ?, conundrum. The Minnesota native had wrist surgery and missed the World Juniors. When he was out, UND’s scoring fell off as its more physical players instantly faced tougher match ups. When Brock is on he can score goals at a blistering pace. He also has the capacity to be a consistent defensively responsible forward depending on how he is used. If you have a tough goal-scoring winger that can back check,well, ask any Capitals fan about how rare it is to have a player like that on your team.

Tucker Poolman-Winnipeg Jets

The East Grand Forks native is recovering from multiple shoulder injuries. When healthy he will be the Jets’ fifth or sixth defenseman next season. Tucker Poolman has a booming point shot and knows how to not get caught trying to do too much. Pairing Poolman with an offensive minded left shot defenseman would give the Jets the best of both worlds. They would get a reliable defender who can score when needed, which would allow another one of their defenseman to take more chances. This could benefit someone like Josh Morrissey who , so far, has not come close to matching his WHL output.

Tyson Jost-Colorado Avalanche

Tyson Jost leaving is the biggest blow to UND. He is a complete player who has broken Connor McDavid’s scoring record in the U-18 World Championship. Tyson is a dominant two-way forward that will be at the core of Colorado’s rebuild. In his brief time at UND, Jost has routinely scored highlight-reel goals and made strong plays defensively. The new Avalanche forward can produce a point per game as well as be a future Selke trophy candidate if he continues to play his strong defensive game. Jost had an integral part getting Canada to the semifinals in the U18 World Championships in April, a key role in getting UND back to the NCAA tournament, and will be asked to do the same thing for the Avalanche as he develops.

Grimaldi to Colorado-My Thoughts

Yesterday, Rocco Grimaldi was traded from Florida to the Colorado Avalanche in return for backup goalie Reto Berra. Grimaldi is a strong skating forward who was a second round pick for the Panthers in the 2011 NHL Draft. The  California native is a strong skating forward with high speed and potential. Grimaldi routinely shuttled in between the AHL and the NHL with the Panthers. A couple of years ago, he played two games in one day.

I agree with Ross Sellers of Mile High Sticking. This was a depth move for the Avs to make. However, one thing to note about Grimaldi, he has top end speed and was never given more than a cup of coffee  at one time in the big leagues with the Panthers. Florida has an outstanding group of forward prospects,and Rocco did not get enough of a chance to show his skills. Rocco is only suited to play either a top line forward,which he is not ready to do yet, or a third line scoring forward.

What Grimaldi lacks in physicality, he makes up for with goal-scoring potential,and a strong hockey sense of where to be on the ice at all times. The Avalanche now have a fair amount of cap room to make more moves this offseason. Depending on what moves they make, Rocco could finally find himself on the big club for a full 82 game season this year.

The UND alum deserves a chance to make the big club this season. Rocco has paid his dues in the minors. He will benefit the Avs tremendously on their third line this year.