Ohio State Prepares Next Generation of NHL’ers
It is unlikely that there will ever be statistics that can put Division I hockey programs and those under the umbrella organization of the Canadian Hockey League on an equal platform, however that is not to say that teams under these different organizations are incomparable.
Programs such as the Ohio State Buckeyes are likened to their Canadian counterparts through the success of the players they send to the next level. The Scarlet and Gray have witnessed numerous players move to the NHL, and its current roster, complete with six NHL draft picks, may hold the most talent.
Of the six Buckeyes who have been selected by NHL squads, Max McCormick, Ryan Dzingel, and Curtis Gedig have already proven they may possess enough talent represent the next generation of Ohio State alumni on hockey’s biggest stage.
Forwards Dzingel and McCormick play similar roles under coach Mark Osiecki and mirror the playing style of NHL standout and former-Buckeye Ryan Kesler. The sophomores each use their vision of the ice to make plays are create opportunities for Ohio State’s top lines and special teams units.
While their playing styles have many similarities, Dzingel and McCormick differ in terms of physicality. McCormick, a product of the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers, plays a more confrontational and edgy brand of hockey than Dzingel does.
The Ottawa Senators selected McCormick and Dzingel with their sixth and seventh round picks. McCormick went 171st overall, while Dzingel was picked 204th overall. Playing together before heading to the NHL will undoubtedly aid the pairing in gaining recognition and perhaps joining the Senators’ roster.
In addition to Dzingel and McCormick, Gedig is another player member of the Scarlet and Gray staged to shine at the next level. Gedig was drafted 204th overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and as shown steady progress during his time at OSU.
The junior defenseman is not as flashy as McCormick or Dzingel though his shutdown defense is difficult to overlook. Through ten games in the 2012-2013 season, Gedig has 13-recorded blocked shots and boasts a +5 plus-minus rating (second-highest on the team). If Gedig continues to improve, his simplistic and skilled style should fit perfectly into the Devils’ system.
With former Ohio State hockey players such as Ryan Kesler, David Steckel, and Zac Dalpe playing in the NHL, the Buckeyes have a huge opportunity to further their reputation by adding their next batch of NHL-ready players to this talented group.