Two dynamic players at defense showcase the depth of players waiting in the wings as recruits of the St. Cloud State University Huskies. Dennis Cholowski (Chiliwack / BCJHL) and Jack Ahcan (Cedar Rapids / USHL) are two of the top offensive defenseman in their respective leagues and both could hit the ice for the Huskies in 2016-17.
Cholowski has gained recent exposure after being named to the Central Scouting list of prospects for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. He was also recently named to the Canada West roster for the World Junior A Challenge along with fellow SCSU recruits Jack Ahcan and Jake Wahlin (see below). The 6’1″ 165 pound defenseman currently has 20 points in 26 games which includes 5 goals. He’s described by head coach Jason Tatarnic as “a fantastic skater and has great vision” and a player “every team covets”. After an official visit to the SCSU campus, Cholowski committed to the Huskies and commented “I loved everything about it…the hockey was absolutely fantastic and the fans were great. As soon as I got back I knew that was where I wanted to go.” With skating being one of his strongest talents and an ability to jump into the offense he should fit in quite nicely in SCSU coach Motzko’s system. More on Cholowski HERE.
Meanwhile, Savage’s Jack Ahcan has made quite an impact in his first year on defense for the USHL’s Cedar Rapids Roughriders. Recently named to the USA World Junior A Challenge roster, Ahcan currently has 4-13-17 +8 in 21 games played, good for second among league defenseman. There’s no doubt that he’s undersized at defense being 5′ 8″ and 170 pounds, but he makes up for it with his passion to compete. “He just competes. He’s a warrior…obviously he’s got the skill and skating ability” remarked Cedar Rapids Head coach Mark Carlson. His “skating edge work” is as good as he’s seen in a player he’s coached. Having seen Ahcan play, I can attest to his skating skills, lateral movement and ability to jump into the play. He’s simply a talented and energetic player on the ice with great instincts. The World Junior A Challenge takes place Sunday, December 13 through Saturday, December 19 in Cobourg and Whitney, Ontario, Canada. More on Ahcan HERE
- Another SCSU recruit named to the USA World Junior A Challenge roster is forward Jake Wahlin of White Bear Lake, MN. Wahlin currently skates for Tri-City of the USHL and has 6-13-19 in 22 games played for the Storm. A strong offensive player, Wahlin had 39 goals and 31 assists in just 25 games in his final season at White Bear Lake H.S. Wahlin originally committed to the University of Massachusetts but changed his mind opting to be closer to home subsequently committing to SCSU a year ago.
- Blaine’s Easton Brodzinski is burning it up on the power play for Penticton of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League. He currently has 21 goals and 15 assists for 36 points in 28 games. Thirteen of these goals have been on the power play. Brodzinski’s brother Jonny and father Mike were both hockey players for St. Cloud State University. Brother Mike is currently a defenseman for the University of Minnesota.
- Brothers Nick and Jack Poehling are currently skating for the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Junior Hockey League. Nick currently has 5-7-12 +4 in 22 games and Jack has 6-2-8 +4 in 21 games. Younger brother Ryan Poehling, also a SCSU recruit, has begun his high school schedule with Lakeville North and has had a strong offensive start with eight points in two games including 3 goals and 5 assists and a +6 rating.
- Blake Lizotte (Lindstrom, MN) is with the Fargo Force of the USHL. The 5′ 8″ 152 pound forward is currently third on the squad in scoring with 3 goals, 9 assists for 12 points.
- Goaltender Zach Driscoll currently leads the BCHL in goals against average at 1.75 and has a sparkling .941 SV %. The 5’10” 187 pound Apple Valley, MN native also has two shutouts for the Penticton Vees coached by former SCSU assistant, Fred Harbinson. Driscoll has been splitting time in goal with Anthony Brodeur who is the second leading goaltender by GAA in the league.
Official site of the World Junior A Challenge is HERE