“I’m way more comfortable,” Gardner said. “Last year was my first year starting, and it was rough, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of adversity. A lot of adversity I fought through, and I feel like I did a really good job of never giving up, never giving up on myself and my teammates. I feel my teammates recognized that, and my coaches recognized that, and I feel like that will help me.”
So we close the books on the 2010 season and get ready for 2011, leaving behind the weirdest season many of us have ever seen for any sports team ever. With just a few days away from the season opener against the university of ontario, I thought I would give my take on the 2011 team and how the roster is shaping up so far. (To avoid confusion, Everyone listed on the offensive line chart as “Wing” is because they are all listed as left wings and I don't know where they will end up)
Departures (Rating 1-5 based on impact of loss)
Carl Hagelin (F) 2010 stats: GP-44, G-18, A-31, Pts-49, PPG Average-1.1, PIM-39, +21
Obviously losing the captain hurts. He was a balanced scorer, a great defensive player, maybe the fastest player in college hockey and the heart of the team. Impact of loss 5/5
Matt Rust (F) 2010 stats: GP-44, G-5, A-21, Pts-26, PPG Average-0.59, PIM-41, +14
Losing the captain hurts and so does losing the alternate captain. Rust was a tough gritty player who played above average defense and was a presence in front of the net. I was tempted to rank his loss impact lower because of penalty minutes and posting a career low in goals, but he was a great player and an even better teammate. Impact of loss 5/5
One of my favorite players on the team, also one of the most dynamic and frustrating players we might ever see when he wasn't busy being the love expert. Louie put up good numbers and could skate really, really fast, but always left fans wondering when he was going to wake up and actually start scoring. If it didn't take him a quarter of the season to find the scoring touch every year he could have put up numbers like chad kolarik or kevin porter, instead 60 point seasons became 40 point seasons. Impact of loss 4/5
Chad langlais (D) 2010 stats: GP-44, G-2, A-15, PTS-17, PPG Average-0.39, PIM-24, +16
A mainstay on the blueline for four years langlais started every game of his career for the wolverines and was a solid defensive player and an assist machine. His offensive production can be replaced but his duribility and leadership can not. Impact of loss 3/5
Brandon burlon (D) GP-38, G-5, A-13, PTS-18, PPG Average-0.47, PIM-28, +14
Solid defensive player who provided a spark on offense but spent a little to much time in the box. His departure is softened with the return of jon merrill, and his stats are almost identical to moffie with more penalty minutes. Impact of loss 2/5
Scooter vaughn (F) 2010 stats: GP-44, G-14, A-10, PTS-24, PPG Average-0.55, PIM-45, +15
Not a player who was expected to do anything except kill penalties, but getting 20+ points from unknown players is a trend red has become know for and I don't expect it to stop now. Impact of loss 2/5
Ben winnett (F) 2010 stats: GP-40, G-5, A-7, PTS-12, PPG Average-0.30, PIM-24, +5
Ben never achieved the success at the collegiate level that he had playing junior hockey but came through for us when we needed it most, scoring the first goal against north dakota and the first goal agaisnt UMD. Impact of loss 1/5
The rest of the departures include fallon, llewllyn, and hogan who's loss will not impact the team. I would like to give hogan a 1 but injuries kept him from finishing a promising career.
Chris Brown JR, (LW) 2010 stats: GP-42, G-9, A-14, PTS-23, PPG Average-0.55, PIM-59, +16
Solid player who can put up better numbers if he stays out of the box, needs to step up and take a bigger role this season. Spent time with the US national team during the GLI last year.
David Wohlberg SR (c) 2010 stats: GP-37, G-15, A-6, PTS-21, PPG Average-0.57, PIM-42, +3
Offensively a good player but the +3 is a little worrying. If he can cut penalties down 30 points is not out of the question. Named second team All-CCHA
Luke Glendening SR (RW) 2010 stats: GP-44, G-8, A-10, PTS-18, PPG Average-0.41, PIM-26, +15
Named captain for the 2011 season, solid offensive player who walked on to the team. May be the player who steps up and provides leadership left by the departed hagelin and rust.
Luke Moffit SO (LW) 2010 stats: GP-36, G-5, A-8, PTS-13, PPG Average-0.36, PIMS-12, +7
Good season for a freshman, defensively needs some work. Needs to step up production or else one of the many freshman left wings will take his place.
Kevin Lynch JR (c) GP-44, G-11, A-5, PTS-16, PPG Average-0.36, PIMS-36, +3
As of right now the only center listed on the roster (unless im missing something). Very talented offensively but the +3 indicates defense is a question mark. Since lynch may be the only viable option at center besides wohlberg, staying out of the box is key for this offense and 36 penalty minutes is to much.
AJ Treais JR (RW) 2010 stats: GP-42, G-9, A-13, PTS-22, PPG Average-0.52, PIM-12, +4
Another solid offensive player who improved from freshman to sophomore year, but the growing trend with the offensive players so far is the low +/- number. With a young group of forwards this team is going to need to lean on defense and the upperclassman need to step up.
Alex Guptill FR (Wing)
Drafted 77th overall by the dallas stars. He finished his 09 season with 64 points, but slipped in the following years finishing the 2011 season with 25 points and a -13 rating which can be attributed to playing with a poor team. The high draft pick shows that scouts still think that he is a promising player who can contribute at the next level, which is great for us.
Derek Deblois SO, (C?) 2010 stats: GP-27, G-1, A-6, PTS-7, PPG Average-0.26, PIMS-20, +8
Getting this far down the roster it starts to get a little murky. Deblois is one of many wingers listed on the roster, but since the incoming freshman are higher rated recruits and no true centers are left I would imagine he would shift to the middle. As for his talents his scoring output is pretty low but the +/- is surprisingly higher than expected. The problem for derek is the penalties which is the same for every player on last years team, and what made me and every other fan bang our heads against the wall. (Seriously seven penalties vs ferris?)
Lindsay Sparks JR (Wing) 2010 stats: GP-17, G-4, A-2, PTS-6, PPG Average-0.35, PIM-8, +4
The great unknown for the 2011 season. Lindsay sparks wowed us with his great speed and offensive skills, and than wowed the coaching staff with his terrible defense and rode the bench. I would assume he gets the nod over one of the billion freshman left wings, but if he is going to keep this spot he needs to work hard or ride the bench with rohrkempher (Who could start the season in sparks spot, I don't know).
Zach Hyman FR (Wing)
Incoming freshman who comes in with some hype, drafted 123rd overall and considered a steal for for michigans 2011 class. Should contribute early on this line, but since the first two lines seem to be solid he would have to light the lamp for any chance to move up this season.
Travis Lynch FR (C?)
Another incoming player who is listed as a left wing. Just like deblois I would expect him to move over for a high ranked freshman (unless im just completely wrong), but if lynch give us a good 40 seconds on the ice a shift and get off it's a win.
Jeff rorhkempher FR (Wing) 2010 stats: GP-13, G-3, A-0, PTS-3, PPG Average-0.23, PIMS-2, +4
Not too bad for a walk-on freshman last season, took over after the the defensive nightmare that was lindsay sparks. Should provide stability for the 4th line and might qualify for the annual travis turnbull memorial breakout player of the year, but not likely.
Jon Merrill SO, 2010 stats: GP-42, G-7, A-18, PTS-25, PPG Average-0.60, PIM-16, +11
The second coming of jack johnson without the penalties, always in the right place and rarely gets caught out of position. Should be one of the nations top blueliners, named Pre-season CCHA first team defensman.
I think mac gets the nod for 2nd pair to start off, but I see him more as a mark hugye type player. His offense is nothing special and his +/- equaling the exact same number of points he scored indicates his defense isn't either. I see him starting off on the second pair until brennan serville is ready for a bigger role.
Kevin clare SO, 2010 stats: GP-18, G-0, A-2, PPG Average-0.11, PIM-6, +12
Straight to the point kevin clare's offense is terrible, the only player who registered less points on the roster last year was hunwick by 1. That being said a player who finishes with a +12 and never scores is either really good at defense or is on the ice when the 1st line forwards score. Either way the 3rd pair is his home, in part because of his limited skill and the players above him.
Brennan serville FR, 2010 stats: None
The 78th overall pick in the NHL draft, serville comes in highly ranked and should move up fast. Third pair is only temporary for him, and could potentially move up to first pair next year if he develops.
Shawn hunwick RS SR 2010 stats: GP-35, W-22, L-9, T-4, SH-4, GAA-2.21, SV%-.925
Thank god he got another year from the NCAA, otherwise this teams season outlook would look very bad. Good numbers thought the season but what you can't see from the stat sheet was how good he was in big games. For example: the north dakota fighting souix had the best offense in D-1 hockey, their top scorers finished the season with 511 points and we shut them out. I expected a regression last year but it never came, he always preformed, and this season he needs to do the same because with hogan departing he is the only goalie left except walk-on adam janecyk. Red pulled the kirk ferentz by turning a tiny white walk on into one of the leagues top players, but I hope this season he doesn't have to try again.
If Zach Hyman is as good as advertised, he'll be on one of the top 2 lines. I doubt they create a line of all Freshmen, even for the 4th line.I suspect he'll go to the 2nd line and they rely on the experienced top line to shut down oponnents' scoring lines.
I think that was a typo on Yesman's part. That said, I too doubt that Hyman is going to be on the fourth line with a freshman and Rohrkemper. I rather imagine that either he or Guptill will be put on the second line, and the other will be put on the third line, with Sparks relegated to the fourth line.
Those are some big losses when you put it in perspective like that, this was a great class all around, lots of heart and character top to bottom. That being said, Michigan doesnt rebuild they reload and we should expect to do very well again, given that one of these freshman can find their goal scoring touch at this level.
"Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback." -The Dude
We actually do have a third goalie. Luke Dwyer, graduated from John Bacon's Ann Arbor Huron High School. He was a starter for four year's at huron and was all-state for two years I believe. I hope we never have to see him in a game situation, but he is out there.
The rest of the roster I had not posted looks like this
Mike Chiassion: FR (D)
Finished 2010 with a 4-11-15 line and 41 PIMS
Mike szuma: Walk on FR (D)
2010 stats: 7-15-22 line and 36 PIMS
Phil Di Guiseppe: FR (F)
He is mosty likely the first one to be called up if there is an injury, and he might impress the coaching staff enough to be brought up. Put up great numbers in juniors and was the player I missed in my original post. Should be posted on one of the lines. 2010 Stat line: 24-39-63
Wohlberg put up 30 points his freshman season. Yes, he had Louie and Palushaj and a rather more offensive team than Michigan has had since then, but I think 30 should be just about the lowest number expected of him this coming season (provided he stays healthy, sophomore year he had back issues that hampered him but didn't cause him to lose time last year, obviously he missed the last several games).
I believe that Wohlberg has normally been more of a winger though he probably could play center if asked to. Treais has played the most center at Michigan, K. Lynch played center towards the end of last season and before he came to Michigan, beyond that things are murkier, though I wouldn't be suprised to see either T. Lynch or Rohrkemper center.
Also, Red likes to pair his freshman with somebody more experiences, I know Clare is technically experienced, but he's only a sohpomore and didn't play that much, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Serville on the second pair with a Moffie/Bennett, maybe even Pateryn, or to see one of Bennett/Moffie switched with Clare to give Serville somebody more battle-tested to pair with.
My mostly baseless predictions for lines:
Wohlberg-K. Lynch-Brown (if nothing else, they'll just bludgeon the other team into submission, some big guys, some heavy hitters, they can also all move and have plenty of skill)
Moffatt-Treais-Glendening (Frist, Treais is arguable better as a winger, but I think Michigan needs centers too much, which he can also capably play, to put him there, then I look for Moffatt and Treais to both take steps up offensively, while Glendenig is too necessary to be lower than second line and can provide the defensive expertise that neither Moffatt nor Treias are completely awesome at)
Hyman-Rohrkemper-Guptill (Red said Hyman was going to have a chance to contribute offensively, so I doubt he's lower than third line, Rohrkemper is the experienced, more energetic player to help balance the line a little bit, while Guptill was highly thought of by draft scouts and is a bit older, so is likely a little more able defensively enough to make this OK)
DeBlois-T. Lynch-Sparks (checking line has always been T. Lynch's M.O, even though he started to put up points late in his USHL career, he'll probably start here between being a little older and more of a defensive specialist, Deblois draws in as energetic forward and Sparks because he wins the experience battle over DiGiuseppe. I do think that DeBlois/Sparks/DiGiuseppe will battle it out for spots on that line all season, because he's too talented to not see the ice, but too young to have too much pressure put on him. DiGiuseppe is probably the biggest mover throughout the season, he might have the most offensive talent, but he's also the youngest on the team by a fair shake.)
Merrill-Bennett (Merrill is obvious, I'm going with Bennett, because I think he started to really improve by the end of last year and Merrill is smart enough to cover anything risky Bennett does)
Serville-Pateryn (Red likes pairing the old with young, so I think Pateryn will start with Serville, for at least a few months, it'll give Serville a chance, too, to figure out what he can and can't do offensively with the incredibly reliable Pateryn next to him)
Moffie-Clare (Moffie needs to see the ice and he should probably be on the point of the 1st PP unit with Merrill, but in this case, I think he starts here until Serville matures enough for Red to feel more comfortable with him and Clare together down here. Clare draws in based on experience, though I wouldn't be surprised to see him rotate with Chiasson if he struggles, as Chiasson is older, age wise and has the reputation as a very steady defender)
Hunwick (I only put this here so at least one of my predictions can be correct come game time)
Eventually, I REALLY want Merrill-Moffie and Pateryn-Bennett D-pairs, I think that optimizes the offensive potential of the D, while maintaining defensive integrity, but I think until Serville/Clare/another freshman mature enough to not be a liability paired together it won't happen.
Is notorious for taking players in the 10-15 point range and turning them into breakout players. Look back at the previous rosters and you will see one every season; vaughn, brian lebler, travis turnbull, david rohlfs and so on. If history is any indication someone will step up and match his production.