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Thread: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

  1. #521
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    Didn't want to search for the BT thread...



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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    A few thoughts on Bryce Brodzinski and the NHL draft. Interesting and somewhat puzzling to see the recipient of the 2018-19 Mr. Hockey Award, given to the best HS hockey player in the State of Minnesota, selected by the Flyers in the 7th and final round @ 196. He just barely qualified for the 2018 Draft based upon his birth date (Aug. 9, 2000) and was subsequently passed over last season, so this was his second shot at the draft.

    Sammy Walker, 2017-18 Mr. Hockey was also selected in the 7th round @ 200 in the 2017 draft, but that was before his senior HS season (2017-18) after which he won the award. So Brodzinski's low draft pick did raise some eyebrows.

    There's certainly no question about Brodzinski's dominating performance in MN HS hockey last season (32-44-76 in 23 games) as a captain at Blaine HS. But judging a player based solely on a career best HS season was apparently a tough call for NHL teams.

    It’s noteworthy that Brodzinski was a bit older and perhaps a more physically solid player (6'0" @ 196-200lbs) than most HS players. However, his short stint in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers proved he can compete at a higher level (7-10-17 in 19 games), a team that struggled scoring goals last season and ranked 15th/17 teams in GF.

    Nevertheless, some GMs may have speculated that his performance was enhanced by beating up on the smaller high school competition. I suspect NHL teams were not keen on taking a risk with Bryce thinking his performance against lower level competition might be a false positive and not translate to a more advanced level of play.

    It should be interesting to see how Brodzinski fits into the lineup for the Gophers this season. Seems to me he has something to prove to himself and others, and especially NHL teams who waited too long and passed him over again. IMO the Flyers snatched up on a bargain with Brodzinski with his obvious innate ability to find open space and the back of the net as a natural goal scorer. Based upon the Flyers current rebuilding strategy from top to bottom, if Brodzinski excels they may come calling in two seasons.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    Spot on observations, SteveO. I would add that he didn't live up to all the hype in the state tournament, scoring just one of his team's twelve goals in their three games. I too am looking forward to see how he'll do at the college level, and he'll use the motivation of getting snubbed in the draft to prove his critics wrong.
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    Loving this thread, very interesting discussion
    Last edited by penak; 06-23-2019 at 11:37 AM.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    Quote Originally Posted by D2D View Post
    Spot on observations, SteveO. I would add that he didn't live up to all the hype in the state tournament, scoring just one of his team's twelve goals in their three games. I too am looking forward to see how he'll do at the college level, and he'll use the motivation of getting snubbed in the draft to prove his critics wrong.
    I can imagine he was a bullet point in EPs game plan vs Blaine in the state tourney. Just checking, he did ok overall in the HS playoffs @ 2.8 pts/game.

    If he can get to 30-40 points that's "potential" Big Ten Rookie of the Year following Sammy last season. He'll most likely face some heavy competition though against a player like Cole Caufield. If Caufield wins it I think he's one and done for the BADgers and off to Montreal, which is in a rebuild mode and has a young team next season.

    The last time the Gophers had two Mr. Hockey's as a freshman/soph. tandem in the same season was Bjugstad and Rau in 2011-12 and they both hit 40+ pts. I can't imagine Motzko will break up the BMW. Ranta/Brodzinski/McManus could be a game changer if they click.
    Last edited by SteveO; 06-23-2019 at 03:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveO View Post
    I can imagine he was a bullet point in EPs game plan vs Blaine in the state tourney. Just checking, he did ok overall in the HS playoffs @ 2.8 pts/game.

    If he can get to 30-40 points that's "potential" Big Ten Rookie of the Year following Sammy last season. He'll most likely face some heavy competition though against a player like Cole Caufield. If Caufield wins it I think he's one and done for the BADgers and off to Montreal, which is in a rebuild mode and has a young team next season.

    The last time the Gophers had two Mr. Hockey's as a freshman/soph. tandem in the same season was Bjugstad and Rau in 2011-12 and they both hit 40+ pts. I can't imagine Motzko will break up the BMW. Ranta/Brodzinski/McManus could be a game changer if they click.
    Forget about Alex Turcotte? One of those two will win it if both make it to campus.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonin21 View Post
    Forget about Alex Turcotte? One of those two will win it if both make it to campus.
    The OHL Soo Greyhounds hold Caufield's junior rights, so there may be some "wishful thinking" he'll change his mind for more playing time and experience vs the NCAA. But I think they'll both suit up for the BADgers next season.

    I've seen Turcotte play. He’s a strong, confident skater with elite vision and playmaking ability, a non-stop motor, and excellent stick handling skills. But Caufield was clearly in rarefied air on the NTDP last season (72-28-100) breaking Auston Matthews season record in goals (55) and overall his 126 goals in 123 games broke Phil Kessel's career record (104). Indeed, Montreal was pleasantly stunned that he was even still available in the 1st round @ 15.

    Caufield is the more elite natural goal scorer so I think he has a better shot at winning it and probably will.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko



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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    Some thoughts on new Gopher recruit Ryan Johnson and the changing landscape of college hockey:

    If there's one defining aspect of John Mariucci's tenure as Gopher coach that has since become a proud tradition characterizing Gopher hockey over the years it is the roster being exclusively populated with players from MN. But that has changed in recent years, and perhaps began with the inclusion of Thomas Vanek from Austria on the 2002-03 national championship team.

    This year's Gopher roster is no exception and will feature more players from western locations (CA and AZ) than any previous season. I'm looking forward to see what NHL 1st rounder Ryan Johnson will bring to the blueline this season for the Gophers. Growing up on the West Coast under the tutelage of his father, former Gopher and player development coach for the LA Kings, had it's advantages. Ryan also recounts when playing for the Anaheim Jr. Ducks, how NHL Hall of Fame Dman for the Anaheim Ducks, Scott Niedermayer would often stop by the rink to give him pointers on improving his game.

    The surge of players coming from non-traditional markets and entering the college ranks, and the NHL reflects the exponential expansion of USA hockey. In the 2018-19 NCAA D1 season, 46 players were from California.

    The ongoing success of the NTDP has also elevated the quantity and quality of players entering the college game as well as the increased presence in recent years of American born players in the NHL. The first eight of the nine American players in the NHL draft last week are NTDP products.

    The exciting game of hockey is clearly growing across the US. Two to three decades ago, 75% of NHL players were from Canada, but that percentage is gradually decreasing today. This year's #1 pick Jack Hughes from the NTDP marks the fourth year in a row that the #1 pick was not a Canadian.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveO View Post
    Some thoughts on new Gopher recruit Ryan Johnson and the changing landscape of college hockey:

    If there's one defining aspect of John Mariucci's tenure as Gopher coach that has since become a proud tradition characterizing Gopher hockey over the years it is the roster being exclusively populated with players from MN. But that has changed in recent years, and perhaps began with the inclusion of Thomas Vanek from Austria on the 2002-03 national championship team.
    If you go way back the other obvious/rare exception was Frank Pietrangelo in the early 80's. But you're right about the Gophers now casting a much wider net than at any time since the Mariucci days, and you have to assume that this trend will only accelerate under Bob Motzko.
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    It didn't even start with Vanek (think ND ). And Frank played with 2 others in John Blue and Steve MacSwain. But yeah I don't think there was another non-MN player in between.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    Quote Originally Posted by D2D View Post
    If you go way back the other obvious/rare exception was Frank Pietrangelo in the early 80's. But you're right about the Gophers now casting a much wider net than at any time since the Mariucci days, and you have to assume that this trend will only accelerate under Bob Motzko.
    My sentiment is if Motzko proceeds to create a roster with a healthy mix of home grown Minnesota talent and non-Minnesota players that's a good thing. I understand the historical precedent for this tradition, but can the Gophers justify it with the expansion of college hockey today providing greater access to high level, student-athlete talent outside of MN? I think of the kid in California who wants to play college hockey and looks at the blue bloods such as Michigan, Denver, Boston College, Minnesota, North Dakota, etc., thinking he might want to attend the University of Minnesota as a student-athlete in the men's hockey program but can't because he was born outside of MN. Is that fair?

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    While I would prefer to see an all-MN roster it's not realistic in this day and age to put one together that is likely to be competitive often enough. Too many MN Div I programs to compete with and nationally you see plenty of top tier talent going to the BTHC, NCHA and HEA. Now if Bob rights things the way we expect he will likely snag a few more MN kids that slipped away towards the end of Lucia's run, but even with that it would be **** near impossible to go all-MN and expect to compete for a Frozen Four.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveO View Post
    My sentiment is if Motzko proceeds to create a roster with a healthy mix of home grown Minnesota talent and non-Minnesota players that's a good thing. I understand the historical precedent for this tradition, but can the Gophers justify it with the expansion of college hockey today providing greater access to high level, student-athlete talent outside of MN? I think of the kid in California who wants to play college hockey and looks at the blue bloods such as Michigan, Denver, Boston College, Minnesota, North Dakota, etc., thinking he might want to attend the University of Minnesota as a student-athlete in the men's hockey program but can't because he was born outside of MN. Is that fair?
    Life is not fair. Everything else said is spot on.
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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    Indeed, parity reigns supreme in MN like no other state. In-state competition for MN recruits is the major reason why the Gophers should enlarge their recruiting sphere to include more non-MN players. With the exception of MSUM, four of the five D1 teams in MN have reached the Frozen Four at least once since 2009.

    UMD has one FF runner-up and three natties in that same time period. The back-to-back UMD championship teams ran their rosters at about 75-80% MN players. However, those teams did not have an abundance of NHL draft picks from MN like the Gophers consistently have every season. About 85% are four yr. players, a potent formula to the FF in today's college hockey world.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    In an effort get more butts in seats, no Thursdays or Sundays this season. Friday and Saturday fun only.



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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    Quote Originally Posted by D2D View Post
    Agree 100%. If "very challenging" results in a very poor record I worry that we could see a further erosion in the fanbase.
    When did the slide begin? Was it the NCAA loss to Union?

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveO View Post
    In an effort get more butts in seats, no Thursdays or Sundays this season. Friday and Saturday fun only.



    The Name on the Front is More Important than the Name on the Back ---> CLICK
    1. This doesn't have UND games on it
    2. MN schedule has those on Thursday (T-giving) and Friday, and UND schedule says Friday-Sat.

    (edit - missed the B10 at the top. Just looked for those since I knew they weren't fri-sat.)

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    Quote Originally Posted by Slap Shot View Post
    While I would prefer to see an all-MN roster it's not realistic in this day and age to put one together that is likely to be competitive often enough. Too many MN Div I programs to compete with and nationally you see plenty of top tier talent going to the BTHC, NCHA and HEA. Now if Bob rights things the way we expect he will likely snag a few more MN kids that slipped away towards the end of Lucia's run, but even with that it would be **** near impossible to go all-MN and expect to compete for a Frozen Four.
    You're probably right, from a practical standpoint. Although I've always felt that the effort to skate all Minn kids was admirable (and always denied that feeling and will continue to), I also think that in a University environment having players from outside the borders is a positive in other ways. As far as supporting its own state programs, the expansion in the number of quality college hockey programs has provided a place for most of those kids who benefited from the competition and training they received in Minnesota youth and HS hockey.

    Whatever it takes to enable them to skate with the Nodaks.

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    Re: Minnesota Golden Gopher Season 2018-2019: Fire Motzko

    Quote Originally Posted by burd View Post
    Whatever it takes to enable them to skate with the Nodaks.
    Who incidentally get almost all of their players from places other than Nodak.
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