I noticed something very interesting early this season. I've been holding my water about it. But tonight I finally got around to working some random comparisons that leave me to draw no other conclusion than UAF's roster weights are complete bullshit.
I've taken three other D1 rosters at random and noted the average weight gains from freshman to senior years. Surprisingly, the percentage is quite low. For example, Merrimack had just one senior this season with any weight gain from his freshman year and that was 10lbs over the 3 year period. Not unreasonable at all for a hockey player to put on 10lbs in 3 years. If you look around you'll see some variance in both directions with some players. For example, Anthony Maiani at DU weighs 5lbs less as a junior than when he showed up as a freshman.
However, when you look deeper at UAF's roster you see something amazing. Shall I expound? As a freshman Brandon Knelsen's weight was reported as 190lbs. Now in his senior year he weighs 199. Not out of the ordinary for a guy to gain 9 pounds in 3 years. Let's go a little further shall we? Dion Knelsen was listed at 180lbs as a freshman. This season he is 187. Ok. As a freshman Dustin Molle tipped the scales at 214lbs. This year he weighs 222. Ok so ... 8lbs more. Cody Rymut hit the UAF campus weighing in at 195lbs. This season he is 200lbs. All in all, that's a bit of a statistical variation from the norm but nothing to jump up and down about.
Well ... so far there's no jumping anyway. But, I've got a little more data.
Bryant Molle has gone from 185lbs as a freshman to 210lbs as a junior. Wow Bryant ... way to pack on the pounds. 25lbs in just two years for an athlete sure shows a dedication to the weight room. Kevin Petovelo has gone from 180lbs as a freshman to 193lbs as a junior. Another guy clearly dedicated to the weight room. Dustin Sather appears equally engrossed by lifting weights as he's gone from 160lbs as a freshman to 175lbs as a junior.
But those guys clearly don't hit the gym as often as their sophomore counterparts. Cody Butcher went from 205lbs as a freshman to 218 as a sophomore. Nice! 13lbs in just a year. Justin Filzen outdid him in the weight room though going from 180lbs as a freshman to 194lbs as a sophomore. As seniors, Butcher should top 240lbs and Filzen should weigh near 225lbs.
So do I believe any of that weight-room spew I just laid down? Hells no. Am I saying there's something nefarious afoot? Hells no. Then what? Are they following Jim Schoenfeld's advice to Don Koharski and everyone is just going to "have another donut"? Well maybe, over-eating is a well-known psychological response to the ever-present darkness that is the reality of winter in Squarebanks. But I don't think it's any of that ...
I recognize that a couple of years ago UAF was one of the shortest and lightest teams in the entire NCAA. It wasn't a pleasant identity to have. Other teams knew just by looking that they would be able to employ a physical strategy to beat up on the little guys. So Coach Ferguson took matters into his own hands, or should I say roster pen and rectified the situation. Fudging weights on rosters is nothing new in hockey-land. However, being so blatant about it is. The Nanooks this season are the 46th shortest team in Division 1. But suddenly they are the 4th heaviest team in Division 1? Puhlease. That's just nonsense.
So regardless of what the roster's say; UAA is still much bigger overall than UAF and can still go out and push the (now fat) little hobbits around.