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.

Manitoba Moose-Jack Roslovic

Columbus, OH native Jack Roslovic  was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1st round in 2015. A center and right wing, he has played in multiple leagues over the years.Jack scored 52 points during his two years  in 59 USHL games with the USA National Team Development Program.

Even though he is only 19 Roslovic plays a very physical game with an offensive edge and has great foot speed.

Currently playing for the Manitoba Moose, I had the opportunity to watch him play and get to talk with him after the game.

When asking why he decided to sign this year instead of returning to Miami University. He thought it was the best for his development and that the Jets could do wonders for his career.

Over the summer, Roslovic worked on getting bigger, faster and stronger. I asked him what he thinks he needs to work on to make it to the next level, he said he just needs to work the systems and listen to the coaching staff.

We also talked briefly about his time at Oxford and what he would miss most, the guys and the brotherhood he felt when he was there.

I asked him what player past or present that he models his game after and his response was no one. He studies as many players as he can so that he can combine parts of their game and develop his own style.

Three thoughts on the Opening game against Manitoba

Three thoughts from the men’s hockey game.

 

  • Cam Johnson, looked great. Seems solid in the crease and doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of rust to shake off before season opener on Friday against Canisius. Tomek seemed a little out of place and stiff on Saturday, but he hasn’t had much game play in the last two years. Hrynkiw looked smooth and didn’t seem to have a whole lot of issues following the puck, even with a mess of players crowding the lane. I am interested in seeing who will most likely will spend more time dressing as the backup

 

  • The lines have been on everyone’s mind since the end of the year when Caggiula announced that he would not be returning this season. First line looked good with Gersich, Jost and Boeser, but I think that Poganski and Janatuinen will soon be spending time playing with Boeser on the same line. 2nd line Janatuinen, Gardner and Poganski looked good together, they flowed well and didn’t seem to have issues finding each other. Hoff, Simonson and Wilkie will most likely stay together on the third.  On the fourth line Olson, Bowen and Yon are most likely staying together unless one makes a dramatic change or injuries occur.

 

  •          The Fighting Hawks looked solid in general. They seemed slow for most of the first period, maybe it is just first game jitters? I mean the Fighting Hawks have a lot of pressure on them coming off of winning a national championship and a lot of critics saying that the team is not as solid after losing most of the upper-class men to professional contracts. The leadership team (Ausmus, Poolman, Boeser and Poganski) have some things to overcome but I think they are just the group of men to lead the team on to another playoff run.

Season Review/Look Ahead-Tucker Poolman

This past season, East Grand Forks,MN native Tucker Poolman improved on his stellar freshman season as a Fighting Hawk. He performed well as a top four defenseman who could play large minutes on special teams and at five aside play. The Winnipeg Jets prospect plays an outstanding all around game and allows his defensive partner to jump up into the play. Poolman has that ability as well.

Jets fans, that means he can be the more offensive guy say with a guy like Paul Postma anchoring the blue line. On the other hand,Poolman also has the ability to hold the point and keep plays alive with his sound positioning,hockey sense,and awareness.Two years ago,when UND was dealing with a high amount of forward injuries Poolman  played forward where he could show off his high speed and physical play grinding for pucks in the corners and along the boards.

Poolman could be an offensive third-pair defenseman in two years with the Jets,or a first pair defenseman with the AHL Manitoba Moose. The former Omaha Lancers captain projects as a top four defenseman with the Jets. Tucker possesses a strong point shot which will garner him some power play time as well.

Last season Poolman improved some key stats. He was a plus 24 with 19 assists,and five goals in 40 games. He took a mere four penalty minutes. Poolman improved the plus-minus statistic by 18 through his improved positioning and through spending a full year on the blue line.

Next season, expect Poolman to get top four minutes once again. Look for Poolman to further refine his game and develop himself to jump to the NHL with the Jets the year after. Jets fans, do not despair, Tucker wanted to play one season on the same team as his brother,Colton. Colton Poolman will be an incoming freshman defenseman this year for the Fighting Hawks. While Poolman can become a free agent, we do not think he will.

Jets fans, take the example of  former UND defenseman Jordan Schmaltz who waited an extra year to play on the same team as his brother Nick. Jordan still signed with the St. Louis Blues at the end of the season. Poolman can become a free agent, so look for the Jets to offer him the maximum bonus to entice him to sign after this season. In terms of talent and development, Poolman is just fine playing one more year at North Dakota where he plays and trains in an NHL-like environment.

Jets fans, after the year the Moose had where would you rather Poolman develop, defending a national championship and thriving, or playing for a new coach with a new team and new system before he has to? Brad Berry has extensive experience developing NHL defenseman. Alexander Edler, and Marc Methot are two of the everyday NHL players Berry mentored.

Next year, depending on the Jets’ contract situation, Poolman could earn a spot on the big club right out of camp. Not many NHL clubs present that type of opportunity to earn a spot in the top six right away. Assuming no major upgrades, the Jets will have that opportunity available next year.

Grade:9/10

Stats:http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=118006

Notes:http://www.undsports.com/pdf9/4691106.pdf (Berry’s bio is on page 17)