The Wolverine

October 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 57 of 91

2011-12 hockey preview Red Berenson needs from his top-line center.��� On an offensive player that must step up for Michigan: ���[Senior] David Wohlberg is probably their most accomplished forward. He���s had a few big seasons for them and really was an impressive rookie. He���s a big, physical left winger that really skates much better than you���d expect for someone his size [6-1, 195 pounds]. He also has an extremely high hockey IQ. I know they use him on the penalty kill, and he���ll probably see a lot more powerplay time. ���I thought he was really good as a freshman. He sort of took us by surprise, and since then, I don���t think he���s been the same sort of player. You respect his game, but maybe not the way he plays it all the time. It���s not the most flattering term, but he���s a diver. He���s always on his butt looking for a call and doesn���t seem as determined to play through the physical stuff as much as he did when he was a younger player with something to prove.��� On other forwards to watch: ���Chris Brown isn���t the kind of winger that���s going to create a lot of offense for himself, though not many guys that play that power game like he does can, but he could be really, really dangerous with the right centerman. ���He reminds me a bit of a guy they had a few years back, David Rohlfs. Brown is big [6-2, 194 pounds], but he���s not lumbering down the ice; he���s quite a good skater, and he has good touch around the net, soft hands, plus a strong shot. And he���s a better defensive forward than he gets credit for. He could really be the total package, but he���ll need an electric center on his line that will create chances. ���I think [junior] A.J. Treais could be that guy, at least offensively. Defensively, he���s not a top-two-line center, but he is really impressive when he���s carrying the puck ��� he sees the ice, can thread a pass and has a keen sense of where his linemates will be. ���He���s been inconsistent, which is what you expect out of a younger player, but I expect his role will grow considerably. They���re going to count on him to produce a lot of points. He���s sort of the only center on that team that has the elite skills they���re used to at Michigan.��� On the defensemen: ���It was a group 58��� the wolverine��� ������ October 2011 that we thought was going to be dominant last season, but they were playing two or three freshmen every night and it took those kids awhile to catch up to the speed of the college game. [Sophomore] Jon Merrill was the exception. ���But later in the year, they got stingier, a lot stingier, and they found chemistry with goalie Shawn Hunwick. It was a defense that not only was not giving up a lot of shots, but was barely giving up legitimate scoring opportunities. You look to those guys again, especially with their scoring question marks, and think that with the majority of their defensemen back, they can be that good all year.��� Sophomore Jon Merrill had an outstanding rookie campaign in 2010-11, finishing first among U-M defensemen in points (25), assists (18) and blocks (70). photo by per kjeldsen On defender Jon Merrill: ���I don���t know if I���ve ever seen a rookie defenseman play as effortlessly as he did. It���s like the game slowed down for him the moment he stepped on the ice. His body positioning, his stickwork, knowing when to clear the puck and when to posses it for offensive opportunities ��� he really played like an All-American senior, and he was only a rookie. ���The one thing we noticed late in the year is teams started having some success against him when they used an aggressive forecheck. He���s not a real physical kid ��� relying much more on his brain than his brawn ��� but he���ll probably have to be a little more physical this year.��� On Michigan���s freshmen: ���That was a major coup for them to get Zach Hyman as late as they did. He���s the kind of forward that can come in and score 20 goals and have 40 points right away. He has a terrific all-around game, and offensively he���s going to create chances for himself and for the guys on his line. I like his potential a lot. ���Travis Lynch was a kid that flew under the radar, but then he committed, and maybe having that burden off his shoulders, he just took off. He was mostly a defensive forward, but his offensive game really blossomed. He���s got the skills to be really good on the penalty kill. He���ll work harder than anyone else on the ice, and if there���s a chance to capitalize on a shorthanded chance, he���ll bury it. ���Brennan Serville is not going to be the defenseman Merrill was last year, but down the road, he has a lot of that potential. He skates well, is really smart with the puck in his own zone, and then in the offensive zone he never panics on the blue line. Some guys you can tell they���re so worried about taking the risk, trying to keep the puck in the zone, but not him. He knows when it���s the right play and when it���s not, and he can be a factor with his shot from the point also.��� On the goalie Shawn Hunwick: ���If you would have told me three years ago Shawn Hunwick would have done what he did the past two years in the postseason, I would have thought you were crazy. He���s not the most talented kid, not the most physical-imposing, but he might be the best goalie in the league because he plays with a swagger that injects life into his team; they love playing for him. ���He reminds me of a kid playing street hockey because he���ll do whatever it takes to keep the puck out of the net. That���s not a knock on his technique. He���s not bad there, but he���s really good in scramble situations, and he just has the knack of coming up with the ridiculous save. I bet if you asked him, he���d rather face a breakaway than a point shot from a defenseman because there���s more pressure on him on the breakaway ��� he just thrives in intense moments.��� ���

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - October 2011