Friday, July 25, 2008

Jefferson Dahl Recruit Recap

This spring/summer I plan to do an update on every currently known UW committed recruit. (I'm going to try and do it alphabetically by last name if possible) I have no idea if that will be once a week or once a month, it all depends on my free time. The first recruit we profiled was Tyler Barnes from Burnsville high school in Minnesota. We've also done goaltender Aaron Crandall. Todays profile is forward Jefferson Dahl who played this season with Eau Claire Memorial High School and will play next season for the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL).

Name: Jefferson Dahl
Position: Center
2008 Team: Eau Claire Memorial High School (WI)
2009 Team: Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)
Commit date: 5/28/2008
Season entering Wisconsin: 2010
Height/Weight/Birth year: 5'9/165/1989

Last Seasons Stats

Games: 26
Assists: 40
Points: 76
Plus/Minus: +59

Jefferson Dahl is one of my favorite recruits not only because he's an excellent hockey player and from my hometown, but he's one of the nicest people I have ever met. I wrote an article on that which you can find here.

Last season Dahl lead Eau Claire Memorial to one of the most successful seasons in the history of Wisconsin high school hockey. Eau Claire Memorial went 26-0 en route to their first state championship. While the team had many great players, no one was more important than captain Jefferson Dahl. Averaging nearly 3 points per game is an absolutely ridiculous feat even at the high school level.

As a player Jefferson is outstanding. A lot of people look at his physical stature which, depending on who is reporting it, could change within a few inches and 20 pounds, and they don't think he can succeed at the next level. After watching him play, you will realize that couldn't be further from the truth.

UW-Eau Clarie used to have a coach named
Marlin Muylaert who ran camps in Eau Claire and he taught the European ways to give and take ice. If you have never heard of that term, it's all about timing and flow. It's learning how to be in the right spot at the right time by taking the right angles and paths to the right spot. I'm not sure If Jefferson was too young when these camps were in Eau Claire but I've never seen someone who can give and take ice the way that he does. It seems like he always is in the perfect spot to catch a a breakout pass or in the right spot when the puck is getting there. That is the reason why he puts up the points that he does because he seems to always be in the right spot to make a play. Quoting myself from the earlier article I did, I think this sums up his his play the best. "Jefferson reminds me a lot of Garrett Roe when I watch him play. Maybe it's a little to do with the size. (Roe is 5'8 160, Dahl is 5'9 165) More I think it has to do with his ability to see the ice and see the play happening before it does. He's not going to take that straight line bull rush you way to the net in the way that Jack Skille plays, but his ability to maybe circle back and allow his teammates to come into the play and get themselves open is something that can't be taught. Being a smaller player he has done a very good job of learning to control the puck while taking contact. He's very good when in the corners with bigger stronger players. He'll never be confused with Matt Ford in terms of shot velocity, but he's very quick with it and always puts him self in good shooting lanes and is very good at hitting his spots. His play making ability is probably ahead of his goal scoring ability at this point but hes no slouch lighting the lamp."

Another feature that Dahl possesses that you don't see on the stat sheet is his leadership ability. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that Jefferson will captain the Badgers before his career is over. He might not be the best player on the team in his tenure at Wisconsin but I promise you he will be the most respected. He's very well spoken and commands respect of his peers in the locker room and on the ice.

I'm very excited to see how Jefferson transitions into the USHL next season. I have no doubt that he will be fine but it's a totally different game then the high school game. Unfortunately he was injured and couldn't play for Team Wisconsin majors in the Minnesota Elite League to see how his game would have played at that level, but he was able to compete with Team Wisconsin at the Chicago Showcase and did very well there teaming up with another future Badger Gavin Hartzog to win the championship.

Tyler Barnes recap

Aaron Crandall recap