Monday, July 26, 2010

Brendan Woods in line for big USHL season

Picture courtesy of the USHL

Brendan Woods was ranked 83rd in the NHL Central Scoutings' list of North American skaters, but didn't hear his named called last month when the NHL held their 2010 entry draft. Last season Brendan played for the Chicago Steel, but didn't see any action until the 2nd half after suffering a broken league before the regular season started. This season he'll be one of the top players on the expansion Muskegon Lumberjacks, coached by former Badger assistant Kevin Patrick. I think he's in line for a BIG season.

Pennlive.com had a nice article about Brendan a few weeks back. He skated at the Washington Capitals development camp recently as an unsigned invitee. His father Bob is an assistant w/ the Caps. No doubt this was a great experience for him. The article also talks more in depth about his broken leg and his road to recovery.

I think all the pieces are in place for Brendan to have that big season w/ Muskegon. Normally in sports, expansion teams struggle for awhile before hitting their stride seasons down the road. W/ the quick player turnover in the USHL (similar to college hockey) a good draft (and expansion draft) can go a long way in a short time. For example, the Fargo Force have went to the USHL finals in both of their only two seasons. It appears Muskegon did decently in both drafts, and has a solid team ready for their first USHL campaign.

Kevin Patrick is a up and coming coach and will take Brendan under his wing. As Brendan points out form the article, "He uses all the Wisconsin systems. It will be an easy transition going from Muskegon to Wisconsin." This bodes well for the Badgers in 2011/12, but also for Brendan this season. Patrick targetted Woods picking him in the expansion draft from Chicago, because he wanted him on his team. He is one of the top players on Muskegon, and he'll continue to grow into his power forward frame, currently 6-2, 180 lbs. He should see a lot of ice time and special teams. He'll be a future Badger to watch this winter, and I'll be circling Muskegon on Dubuque or Green Bay's schedule to see him play.

A few more things from the article, the Badgers beat out minnesota & North Dakota among others for Brendan's verbal commitment. I wasn't previously aware of that.

His dad also had the following to say about the Wisconsin program, “I know he’s going into a good program in Wisconsin. I think it’s a great situation. Eaves really likes to have guys that have that in their family, the pro hockey. I was able to meet him on the visit there. I like the fact that he’s going to a program where he’s experienced and knows what pro hockey’s all about. From what I hear, he does a very good job preparing kids for pro.”