Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The 09-10 Seawolf Sophomore Class

Curtis Leinweber - 5'8" 171lbs, Forward/Defenseman
I'll begin with a fairly bold statement. Curtis Leinweber is as fast as any player in NCAA Division I Hockey. I know speed. I've seen lots of fast skaters. Curtis is as fast as anyone. Speed kills. Curtis adds an extra dimension of wheel speed to a team that already has some damn good wheels. Sorry to say this dear past Alumni ... I loved you guys just as much. But I think overall this years Seawolf team would skate circles around you.

Curtis is the definition of dynamic. He'll make things happen just about on every shift. His quickness on his feet translates well to what he's doing with the puck on his stick. He can blow by or undress opponents without warning. He gets every ounce of his hundred and seventy-one pounds to rocket the puck on net. He can explode into an offensive outburst from just about any sitution. He'll see significant time on both the penalty kill and power play this season. And he'll produce points in both cases. Yes. He'll bag some shorties.

Last season Curtis was voted as Rookie of the Year. He played in 22 games. That's a huge measure of respect from your team. I believe that playing a full schedule Curtis will find his best stride and contribute in very significant ways offensively. Whether he plays at wing or defense his contributions could be very surprising to a lot of people. If they aren't already, Seawolf fans are going to be damn glad that Curtis came to UAA after this season.

Jade Portwood - 6'3" 207lbs, Forward
Jade Portwood skated in 28 games last season. As with most freshman it was really a year spent in development. He showed excellent abilities in Shyiak's possession style. He is strong along the boards and uses his size to it's best advantage to protect the puck. He's strong on his feet. Jade's wheels allow him to be a threat in transition as well.

This season I think Jade's role is likely to include more opportunities to get to the front of the net during the possession game. There's nothing wrong with an NHL sized forward in front of the net creating traffic and banging home rebounds. Jade will be one of those guys this season.

He has the potential to become a significant goal scorer during his career. I expect we'll see more of that from him this season. In some sense, he was a snaken-bitten on several chances last year that could have seen him easily triple (or more) his 2 goals. He skated in all situations last year gaining some valuable experience that could translate to penalty kill and power play time this season.

Brad Gorham 6'1" 195lbs, Forward/Defenseman
Scott Warner 5'9" 180lbs, Defenseman

Brad Gorham (left) will be eligible to skate for the Seawolves in January following his transfer from Ohio State. Scott Warner (right) transferred from Army and won't dress for a game this season.

In 12 games at OSU Brad scored 1 goal and had 1 assist. When he hits the ice he'll be UAA's most mature sophomore. He turned 23 back in May. It's difficult to know whether Brad skates at forward or defense. Shyiak seems to appreciate utilitarian players so perhaps Brad becomes another Jared Tuton during his career.

In 24 games with Army last year as a freshman Scott put in a nice 6 goals and added 3 assists. That number of goals matched his two previous years total in the BCHL. That bodes well for next season. They are both originally from Anchorage.


Anonymous said...

Lost a few sophomores, bring on the freshmans. The seniors and juniors will provide the leadership the freshmans need.
This will be a winning team.
Fill the sully, can't wait till the seaon starts.


Anonymous said...

Woot woot!!!!!! Bring it on. Cant wait for Wasilla - October 2. Seawolves fans better fill that joint up

Suze said...

Nice write up Donald, thanks!

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