St. Cloud, MN – Let’s face it, regardless of the infusion of talent in 2019-20 for the St. Cloud State University Men’s Hockey team it’s still going be a rebuild on offense. A combination of graduating seniors and early departures took a toll on one of college hockey’s top offenses. They lose their top five scorers ( Patrick Newell, Blake Lizotte, Robby Jackson, Ryan Poehling and Jimmy Schuldt) and a total of 213 points including 77 goals and 136 assists. The team mopped up on NCHC post-season awards with four first team selections in the now departed Newell, Poehling, Lizotte and Schuldt and individual awards to Schuldt as NCHC Player of the Year/ Defensive Defenseman of the Year and Patrick Newell named NCHC Forward of the Year. These two were also named first team All-American and were finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. Sophomore Blake Lizotte was named second team All-American.
Daunting? Yes. The cupboard has been depleted but it’s not bare as the Huskies return 216 points from last season (4th in the NCHC) and 79 goals (4th in the NCHC). With the team’s strength extending from goaltender to the blue line, clearly they should be solid defensively. They’ll add depth to an already strong blue line and two goaltenders to back up expected starter David Hrenak. The task however, is to try to replace some of the scoring punch from a season ago. It won’t be easy and it’ll require some patience as a group of talented youngsters get acclimated to the toughest league in college hockey. But, adversity creates opportunity and there will be plenty of it for these incoming players. With that said, let’s take a look at the rookie class (in alphabetical order) for 2019-20:
Chase Brand – 5’10” 160 (Nevis, MN) Forward
Forward Chase Brand is proof that you don’t need to be from a Minnesota hockey hotbed to find opportunity at the highest level of collegiate hockey. He committed to the Huskies in May of 2019 after de-committing from fellow NCHC member Miami. However, he had a history with SCSU coach Brett Larson who had some visits with him while at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and he was recruited by the previous SCSU coaching staff. So, ultimately, he ended up where he wanted to be.
The native of Nevis, MN played his high school hockey at Park Rapids, MN which had the advantage of giving him varsity ice-time as an eighth grader. A four-year player at Park Rapids, he compiled 154 points on 63 goals and 93 assists in 98 games including 53 points in 2014-15 and 68 points in 2015-16. He left after his junior season and then split time between Brookings of the NAHL and Sioux Falls of the USHL in 2016-17. The bulk of his time was with Brookings where he posted 10 goals and 13 assists for 23 points in 57 games.
In 2017-18 he skated in 29 games for Brookings with 6 goals and 13 assists for 19 points. He also had 12 games with Omaha of the USHL posting one goal. In 2018-19, after being traded to the Madison Capitals, he had his break out season in junior hockey with 17 goals and 36 assists for 53 points. This placed him 19th overall in USHL scoring.
Coach Garrett Suter saw something in him commenting ” Chase was one of those guys that was borderline for other teams but we had our eye on him all along.” Concerning his improved production Brand commented “I think the reason I did well is because coach Suter gave me a great opportunity to play big minutes and I took advantage of that and progressed throughout the year.”
Amateur scouting service Neutral Zone noted ” Great motor, very effective on the penalty kill, strong active stick play, excellent speed that was tough to match. Shows strong ability in creating plays.”
CenterIceView Comments: In Brand, the Huskies get an experienced, older player and excellent student who should be able to step in and provide quality minutes in 2019-20. He’ll have to adjust to a bigger, stronger, more physical game in the NCHC but can take advantage of the new Husky Hockey Performance Center to improve his strength. His speed will be an advantage on the large ice surface of the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. There’s no reason to believe Brand won’t have a successful collegiate career at St. Cloud. I see him as a key component of the Huskies offense by his junior year.
Brand’s sister McKenna played hockey for four years at Northeastern University in Massachusetts.
Jaxon Castor – 6′ 3″ 190 (Phoenix, AZ) Goaltender
Twenty-two year old goaltender, Jaxon Castor has taken an unconventional route to the SCSU Huskies. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Castor got an early start in hockey merely from the love of the game and being relegated to the goaltender position as a youth. It led to two seasons of hockey for the Phoenix Coyotes U16 and U18 teams and impressed enough junior hockey league scouts that he was selected as the 28th pick in the second round of the 2015 USHL Entry Draft by the Dubuque Fighting Saints. It also led to an early verbal commitment to his home state Arizona State University Sun Devils which coincided with the school’s first season as a NCAA hockey program.
He appeared in 15 games for Dubuque during the 2015-16 as a backup to future UMD goaltender Hunter Miska and took over the starting position in 2016-17 posting a 2.35 GAA and .902 SV% in 50 games – again, impressing the NHL scouts enough that he was ranked 23rd among North American goaltenders in the final NHL Central Scouting rankings for the 2017 NHL Draft. Coincidentally, current SCSU goaltender David Hrenak was ranked one position lower at #24, University of Minnesota goaltender Jared Moe at #26, UND goaltender Adam Scheel at 28th and UMass goaltender Matthew Murray at 29th.
However, after 17 games with Dubuque in 2017-18 and a sub .90 SV% and 3.02 GAA, Castor (who had 48 USHL wins) found himself traded to the Shreveport Mudbugs of the NAHL. Eligibility issues also clouded his future with ASU and he was suddenly un-committed in his final year of junior hockey. But, Castor embraced the situation and took over the goaltending reigns of the second year Mudbugs leading them to the NAHL Robertson Cup Championship and was named Robertson Cup MVP. In the process, he posted the leagues best GAA of 1.50 and a .931 SV%. This also led to some discussions with the staff of the Huskies and ultimately enrollment at SCSU to work on his eligibility issues. Meanwhile, during the 2018-19 season he manned the nets for the school’s ACHA (Club) squad.
A tall, rangy and athletic goaltender at 6’3″ and 190 pounds he has good reflexes and a quick glove hand and moves well laterally in the goal crease. He uses his long frame to challenge the shooter. He has good reaction time and shows confidence and poise in goal. He also has that innate ability to make the “highlight reel” type of save.
CenterIceView Comments: Castor is an experienced and proven goaltender that has shown the ability to play well in a big game. Word is that the coaching staff has been impressed with what they’ve seen thus far. Castor will be a quality backup to David Hrenak and should provide quality competition to fellow first-year goaltender, Joseph Lamoreaux. Castor has the ability to become a quality NCHC goaltender and assume the role as a starter.
Henry Enebak – 5’11” 180 (Prior Lake, MN) Forward
This Lakeville North High School product continues a string of players from Lakeville to play for SCSU including Charlie Lindgren, Blake Winiecki and the Poehling brothers. A finalist for East Metro Player of the Year as a senior, he was a classmate of Ryan Poehling and a member of the powerful Panthers teams from 2013 to 2017. This included a Minnesota State High School Championship and undefeated 31-0 season in 2014-15.. Enebak, was inserted into the Panther lineup as a freshman and remained there for four years. During that time, he produced 61 goals and 81 assists for 142 points in 99 games. His best season was in 2016-17 where he posted 19 goals and 25 assists for 44 points.
Enebak was drafted by the Lincoln Stars of the USHL along with teammate Ryan Poehling in 2015 and commited to the Huskies in 2016. However, he never donned a Stars jersey but rather signed with former SCSU assistant coach Fred Harbison and the Penticton Vees of the BCHL to start the 2017-18 season. But, after a slow start with the Vees and just one point in seven games he was traded to the Brookings Blizzard of the NAHL where he contributed 4 goals and 3 assists for 7 points in 29 games. In 2018-19 he signed on with the Carleton Place Canadiens of the Central Canada Hockey League. After a blistering start with 7 goals and 5 assists for 12 points in the first 12 games the offense suddenly went dormant and he finished the 51 game season with 8 goals and 16 assists for 24 points.
Neutral Zone, a prominent amateur scouting service described his game as follows: “he’s not the prettiest skater; but he’s got strong edges, he can fight his way through checks and get shots off in traffic. He has a powerful release and can beat goalies clean in the slot. He scored in tight, he scored off a one-timer and he scored a low snap shot off angle showing a versatility in goal scoring. He isn’t overly dynamic with the puck but he has soft and sturdy hands and plays a direct, hard-nosed game going up ice and taking the puck to the net. He’ll need to get quicker and faster to make an impact at the NCAA DI level, but goal scoring is a premium and he can really shoot it.”
Enebak comes from an athletic family with his father Jake skating for the Gophers in the late 80’s and his mother Becky (Anderson) Enebak a former track and field All-American at St. Cloud State and a member of the SCSU Athletic Hall of Fame.
CenterIceView Comments: Enebak is somewhat of an enigma in that he produced over 100 points in two seasons of high school hockey but was unable to translate that to the junior hockey level. There is no denying that he is a character player with a strong work ethic and leadership qualities. He’ll bring with him that Lakeville North hockey work ethic and be a competitor on the ice. He’s not flashy and primarily a straight ahead north/south player who posesses a strong shot. He’ll be a depth player to start his career with the Huskies and we’ll have to keep an eye on his progress. Players like this only benefit a team.
Jami Krannila – 5’10” 150 (Pori, FIN) Forward
The Finnish pipeline continues to be strong for the Huskies with 18 year-old forward Jami Krannila (turns 19 in October). This exciting player committed to the Huskies in 2018 following his season with the Finnish U18 Tappara squad where he led the team in scoring with 24 goals and 41 assists for 65 points in just 46 games. Drafted by the Sioux Falls Stampede with the 74th overall selection in 2018, Krannila joined the USHL team in 2018-19. He finished the year 4th in overall points with 17 goals and 28 assists for 45 points in 60 regular season games and 2 goals and 3 assists in 12 playoff games culminating in a USHL Clark Cup Championship.
Krannila was eligible for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and was ranked #143 by Central Scouting in their final North America ranking. However, he was not drafted and remains eligible for the 2020 draft as an “over-ager”.
Marco Bombino of McKeens Hockey, a scouting service described Krannila as a “smooth, quick skater with strong offensive skills and instincts. He’s somewhat lightweight but deceptive with the puck and can stickhandle and maneuver in tight spaces. Has an accurate wrist shot. He anticipates the play really well, both with and without the puck, and knows where his teammates are on the ice in order to feed them the puck. Krannila plays in all situations for his team”. He further told me “I think Krannila has the potential to be a strong offensive player at the college level, one who can be a solid point producer. Spending one year in the USHL will be good for him so that he can gain strength and improve his physicality. A quick, smooth skater with a lot of skill and good offensive vision. He first caught my attention in the U16 league and his game has gotten steadily better.”
Amateur scouting service Neutral Zone noted: “(Krannila) drove the net hard consistently which opened up offensive plays. Great threatening speed and nice hands to keep up with speed. Fun player to watch.”
CenterIceView Comments: Krannila is an effortless skater and can really get around the ice. As a youngster, he’s proven an ability to put up points in a highly defensive USHL. There’s no doubt this will translate to the NCHC but hard to say what his success level will be as a first-year player. Somewhat concerning is his size and how he’ll be able to cope with the much stronger, physical college hockey game. It’s also concerning that he only posted 1 goal and 2 assists in the final 13 games of 2018-19 and without a point in the final 7 games. It may have been that he was simply worn out physically from a long USHL season. Regardless, Krannila has tremendous upside potential as a collegiate player and may have a learning curve much like Patrick Newell, another slight player physically when he started his career with the Huskies. In any case, the lager ice surface of the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center will work to his advantage.
Kyler Kupka – 6’0″ 183 (Camrose, AB) Forward
This product of Alberta junior hockey is one of the few players from the Province of Alberta to skate for the Huskies in a number of years. Kupka, a native of Camrose, Alberta is a 6’0″ 170 pound 20 year-old left-handed forward that played for the Camrose Kodiaks of the AJHL. He has floated between all forward positions for the Kodiaks. A prolific scorer, he has put up huge points at every level he has played including 73 points over two years at the Bantam AAA level, 81 points at the Midget AAA level and 158 points in 154 games for Camrose in the AJHL. Even more impressive is that he accomplished this having missed games after January due to injury in the 2017-18 season. During the 2017-18 season, Kupka scored 29 goals and had 30 assists for 59 points in 59 games. This past season, Kupka netted 30 goals and added 41 assists for 71 points in 60 regular season games and 7 goals and 8 assists for 15 points in 10 playoff games. These numbers placed him 6th in league points and 11th in goals one less than fellow SCSU first-year player Zach Okabe.
Neutral Zone, a prominent scouting site described Kupka as “one of the smartest players every time he stepped out on the ice. “He plays in both ends of the rink for the Kodiaks and will put out his all on every shift. Kupka has above average hands and vision which allows him to make plays most guys won’t try. He can stretch the ice out with passes coming through the neutral zone being able to make tough plays off his stick. Kupka has poise with the puck and will make plays in traffic down low. Along the boards he does well protecting the puck and can distribute the puck with pressure around him. Kupka is a good skater with an obvious eye for the net but also has that great ability to make quick decisions with the puck and pin-point cross ice passes. He has a quick release on his shot particularly around the goalmouth.”
Kupka originally committed to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in September of 2017 but reconsidered and committed to the Huskies in January of 2019.
CenterIceView Comments: Kupka has the potential to be one of the top scoring first-year players in the NCHC in 2019-20.The left-handed shooter has enough size to hold his own physically and obviously has a nose for the net. He has good straight ahead speed and good vision to make quick decisions with his passes. As an older player, I expect him to be productive immediately and to earn ice time right away with the Huskies. Expect him to be very comfortable the second half of the season and a regular in the lineup. Kupka will be a very productive point producer by the time his career ends with the Huskies.
Joseph Lamoreaux – 6’1″ 190 (Shorewood, WI) Goaltender
The Huskies have added experience and depth to the goaltending position with the addition of goaltender Joseph Lamoreaux. The 20 year-old is a two-year veteran of the United States Hockey League with the Madison Capitols. He was a 6th round draft choice of the Capitols in the 2016 USHL Entry Draft after competing in the Milwaukee Admirals amateur hockey system from 2012 to 2017. A high performer, he had three consecutive seasons with a GAA of under 1.75 and in his final season of U18 had a GAA of 1.43 and .941 SV%. He completed his second season with the Capitols with an unimpressive 3.60 GAA and .897. However, before you draw any conclusions based on his statistics, realize he played for a team with the fewest wins and scored the lowest number of goals in the league. Lamoreaux had little offensive support despite being a workhorse playing in 48 games and facing more shots (1548) than any other goaltender in the USHL – 122 more than the next closest goaltender.
Lamoreaux comitted to the Huskies in November of 2018 and was the first Capitol player in franchise history to commit to SCSU until he was joined by fellow first-year player Chase Brand who committed six months later. However, current SCSU Husky Easton Brodzinski did spend a portion of the 2016-17 season in Madison.
Neutral Zone, a prominent amateur scouting service described Lamoreaux “moves well laterally, pushes out hard, plays just above the paint, square to shooter, competes like crazy but always calm in the net. Strong rebound control, in control of his movements, doesn’t give the shooter much to look at. Strong glove and blocker control, as well as an effective stick.They further noted ”Joey is a big goalie with big upper body coverage. Made some good reads on penalty kill while still challenging the shooters at the top of the crease. Grade A reaction saves on penalty kill.Good saves off the rush with defense as a screen.”
Capitols coach Garrett Suter noted ” his confidence and conditioning has been the biggest change for Joe. He’s more consistent and he’s ready for games because of his confidence and conditioning.”
CenterIceView Comments: Lamoreaux will be battling Jaxon Castor for the backup position behind Junior and NHL draft choice David Hrenak. Lamoreaux has faced a lot of shots in junior hockey and it’ll be interesting to see how he performs with one of the top defensive units in college hockey in front of him. He has the size, experience and competitive nature to earn some playing time with the Huskies particularly early in the season.
Zachary Okabe – 5’9″ 160 ( Okotoks, AB) Forward
Zachary Okabe will be the youngest player on this years Husky squad but already has seen a lot of the world. Born in Japan and raised for a portion of his life in Australia he has dual citizenship in Australia and Japan. Okabe moved to the USA for a bit, played hockey on Vancouver Island and then moved to Okotoks, Alberta (just south of Calgary) to skate for the Grand Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL).
Okabe’s hockey started in New South Wales, Australia for the Penrith Phantoms, a hockey program started by his parents Bob and Maree Okabe. His father, by the way, has a hockey background himself playing some club hockey for SCSU in the 90’s. Moving to Springbank, Alberta, Okabe played two seasons of hockey for the Edge School AAA Bantams in 2014-15 and 2015-16 and then one season on Vancouver Island for the Shawinigan Lake Midget Preps in 2016-17 compiling 27 points in 30 regular season contests. It was then off to Okotoks to hone his skills with the Grand Prairie Storm of the AJHL.
Already being noticed by the Western Hockey League and NCAA coaches, Okabe earned the distinction of being the first Australian drafted by the Western Hockey League in March of 2016. He also made an early commitment to Hockey East’s University of Vermont prior to the start of his rookie season for the Grand Prairie Storm. However, changes in the coaching staff at UVM had Okabe re-evaluating his options and he had no less than 16 NCAA schools salivating for his commitment once it was known that UVM was out of the picture. Word is he narrowed his choices to UMass, Denver and SCSU ultimately deciding on the Huskies in August of 2018.
An immediate impact player for the Storm, the 5’9″ 160 pound highly skilled Okabe had 22 goals and 35 assists for 57 points in 58 games. This also included 13 multi-point games. His rookie success earned him the Dick White Trophy as Rookie of the Year in the AJHL and being named to the leagues All-Rookie team. Additionally, he was a finalist for the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Rookie of the Year, an award that encompasses all of the Canadian Junior A hockey leagues. He followed that up with 31 goals and 27 assists for 58 points in 60 regular season games and 3 points in 4 playoff games in 2018-19. In all, the energetic Okabe posted 115 points in 118 games in two AJHL seasons.
Ranked #201 by NHL Central Scouting for the 2019 NHL Draft, the youngster was passed over and will be eligible for the 2020 draft. He turns 19 in January 2020. DraftSite noted “super soft hands, puck control at his top gear and nice East-West speed and elusiveness. The knock is that he is only five foot eight inches, but his diminutive size doesn’t diminish his high end vision, soft hands and light edges. His offensive instincts and speediness help him back off defenders and he is excellent at hitting his teammates with precision passes.”
In a previous interview, Grand Prairie head coach Matt Keiller noted “We knew Zachary was a very special player the first time we saw him skate. He makes plays at high speed and he’s exciting to watch. He’s one of those players that puts fans on the edge of their seat when he has the puck.”
CenterIceView Comments: Okabe would have been lights out if allowed to play another season in the AJHL. However, at his age with his accomplishments it will help his development to compete at a higher level of competition. A highly skilled player, Okabe demands space with his stick skills. He thinks the game fast and is one of those players that is always thinking ahead of the play. He’s energetic on the forecheck and can play either center or wing. His elusiveness and skating ability will allow him to take advantage of the extra ice at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. His only disadvantage could be his size and his ability to cope with stronger and bigger competition. Okabe is a can’t miss star for the Huskies and will have a tremendous collegiate career at SCSU. He’ll quickly become a fan favorite of the Husky faithful.
Thomas Rocco – 5’9″ 170 (Downingtown, PA) Forward
Following the Aberdeen Wings NAHL Robertson Cup Championship in May, the Huskies received a commitment from Rocco, a left shooting forward from Pennsylvania. Including Ryan Malone and Rob Klasnick, this is the third Husky recruit from the state of PA. Rocco, who is a product of the Philadelphia Junior Flyers program also played one season for the Richmond Generals of the USP3HL in 2016-17 and PAL Junior Islanders of the NCDC in 2017-18 before joining Aberdeen for the 2018-19 season. He had a productive season for the wings producing 13 goals and adding 29 assists for 42 points in 56 regular season games and 9 points in 12 playoff games en route to the NAHL Championship.
Wings Head Coach Scott Langer noted “Thomas is a special young man with an abundance of character and heart. He was an absolute game changer on this years Robertson Cup Championship club. His relentless work ethic will allow him to be highly successful at the next level. ”
Neutral Zone, a prominent amateur scouting service described Rocco as having a ” High compete level and can play in key situations. (He is) dependable and consistent. He used his legs and body well to protect the puck and keep possession. Heady forward, always put the puck in good areas, whether tape to tape pass or just a chip to space. Was good on special teams.”
CenterIceView Comments: Rocco has never been a prolific goal scorer at any level but is a coaches dream in that he plays at a high energy level and does what he’s asked to do to help the team. He’s a strong forechecker, always on the puck and always noticeable on the ice due to his energy level. He skates well and will utilize the Huskies home ice to his advantage. Eventually, he’s the type of player that will work himself onto the penalty kill unit and will be a depth player for the Huskies. He’ll do some scoring by the end of his SCSU career but he’ll be counted on to do more for the team than that. He’s a highly dependable player and the fans love that.
Ondrej Trejbal – 6’3″ 190 (Nove Mesto, Czech Rep) Defense
The NAHL has been producing some tremendous collegiate players and the Huskies may have snagged a high quality defenseman in Trejbal, a native of the Czech Republic and two-year junior hockey veteran. The 20 year-old 6’3″ 192 pound left shooting defenseman committed to the Huskies in late March after skating for the Minnesota Wilderness of the North American Hockey League the past two seasons. Trejbel was ranked by NHL Central Scouting #123 in their fnal ranking for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. In the 2017-18 season, he played in 53 games picking up 9 goals and adding 20 assists for 29 points.
Trejbel was drafted 82nd overall by the Des Moines Buccaneers in the 2018 USHL Draft but returned to the Minnesota Wilderness. He improved on his numbers in 2018-19 with 11 goals and 29 assists for 40 points in 55 games. In February of 2019, he set the team record for most points by a Wilderness defensemen. In recognition of his talent, Trejbal has played in the past two NAHL Top Prospects Tournaments, both in 2018 and 2019. Previous to the Minnesota Wilderness, Trejbal competed internationally for the Czech U17 team and played for the Pardubice U16/U18/U20 teams.
Neutral Zone, an amateur scouting service graded him an “A” and noted he’s a “long, skilled, soft handed defender with puck touch and a slick stick. He retrieved pucks really well for his size and has the vision and passing ability to stretch the ice, make clever saucer passes in the neutral zone to lead odd man rushes and can quarterback the power play. He is physical, he can step up at the blue lines and make open ice contact and he uses his long reach to his advantage to knock pucks off sticks. They further noted “(He has) good size and gets around the ice well. Great patience with the puck and poised under pressure breaking the puck out with crisp passing. Also patient at offensive blue line moving laterally to create shooting and passing lanes. Protects puck very well with his big body and plays physical in the defensive zone. Very tough to get off the puck. Good heavy shot from the point.”
Wilderness coach Dave Boitz noted “Ondrej is an incredibly talented offensive defenseman and has been a driving, positive force on our team. Off the ice, Ondrej is an outstanding human being and the Wilderness family is beyond excited to see him continue his journey at the top-notch program St. Cloud has to offer. ”
CenterIceView Comments: Trejbel will have the luxury of training and practicing with a very deep SCSU defensive unit which will only help to accelerate his game. He’s still developing his game and does remind me of current Husky Spencer Meier in his ability to put up some offense. He may have difficulty injecting himself into the Huskies lineup immediately but eventually should work his way in as a regular in the lineup. Currently, Trejbel and the Huskies are working on his NCAA Eligibility which is not unusual for a foreign player. Hopefully, he’ll have those issues resolved by the start of the season.
Trevor Zins – 6’0″ 188 (St. Michael, MN) Defense
The Huskies have added another veteran junior hockey player in defenseman, Trevor Zins a native of St. Michael, MN. He’ll join the Huskies as a 21 year-old first year player after playing two seasons in the BCHL preceded by one and a half seasons for Cedar Rapids in the USHL and a half dozen games with Topeka of the NAHL.
Zins completed two varsity seasons at St. Michael-Albertville (MN) High School and was fourth on the squad in scoring with 8 goals and 20 assists for 28 points in 2014-15. He was an early commit to UMass-Lowell in 2015. He joined Cedar Rapids of the USHL after his junior season and was with them for a season and a half before being traded to Topeka of the NAHL. In 2017-18 he joined the Trail Smoke Eaters and after scoring just 4 goals and adding 21 assists in 122 games the prior three seasons in junior hockey, he really came into his own during the 2018-19 season leading the BCHL’s Smoke Eaters defensive unit in scoring with 12 goals and 34 assists for 46 points in 58 games.
Amateur scouting service Neutral Zone described Zins “an exciting defenseman to watch when he has the puck. He quarterbacks one of the top power plays in the league. He uses his edges efficiently for lighter turns and can really pick speed quickly. Trevor has excellent vision for tape to tape passes, as well as uses angles to his advantage.”
Trail General Manager and Head Coach Jeff Tambellini noted “He had an outstanding season leading our defensive group. As an organization, we are very proud to help a 20-year-old player commit to the number one ranked team in the NCAA. We know that Trevor Zins will have a great college career and we’re excited for him moving forward.” Zins was named the top defenseman on the team during their annual awards dinner.
Zins further commented “I know a lot of the boys there on the team and with the campus being only 30 minutes from my hometown, it made my decision of St. Cloud that much easier. I grew up playing there in tournaments and practices and watching them turn into the program they are today. It’s top end hockey that will help me get better every day, the coaching staff is unbelievable and will help me develop on and off the ice.”
CenterIceView Comments: The Huskies have injected more quality depth to their defensive unit with the addition of Zins. An excellent skater with a knack for the offensive game he’ll have his work cut out for him to gain a regular spot in a very deep group of defensemen. However, his experience after four years of junior hockey would allow him to step right in and provide quality minutes on the blue line if needed. Much like Trejbel, Zins will benefit from training and practicing with a very talented group of SCSU defensemen.