UND held its annual men’s and women’s media day today at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Both men’s coach Dave Hakstol and women’s coach Brian Idalski gave updates on their teams, and almost all players were available for interviews after that.
A ton of my preview stuff was in the 2012 Herald college hockey section, but below are a few other notes from media day.
- Hakstol said the coaching staff will likely start Rocco Grimaldi at center to begin the season. That means the top three centers would be Corban Knight, Carter Rowney and Grimaldi. That would make for quite a strong lineup up the middle.
- Hakstol also said he believe Colten St. Clair will start at wing. St. Clair played center his first year in Fargo, some left wing his second year and right wing his third year. So, he can play anywhere.
- Hakstol said the development of the sophomore class from last year to this year will be critical in UND’s success. They need that group to take steps forward.
- UND lost a significant amount of minutes with the graduation of Ben Blood. Hakstol said several guys will fill those minutes. The coaches were very encouraged by the play of Derek Forbort down the stretch last season. Jordan Schmaltz also will have a chance to pick up some of those minutes.
- It is looking very unlikely that defenseman Candace Molle will be eligible to play in the first half of the season. Molle was one of UND’s top blue liners last season, but has not yet been cleared to play. She certainly will not this weekend. No timetable on when we’ll definitely know when she might be back.
- The good news is that Jordan Slavin has recovered from her third ACL repair, and coach Idalski said that Slavin has looked pretty good in practice. She will be a key to the defense this season.
- Another key defender will be freshman Sam LaShomb. Everyone is raving about her shot, saying she has a bomb from the point. She could earn power-play time from the start. LaShomb starred at South St. Paul.
- The most impressive new face to the team this season has been former East Grand Forks star Leah Jensen. She redshirted last season, but her development has continued from her high school days. There will be a lot more on Jensen in Friday’s Herald.