The Maple Leafs signed 23-year-old defenceman Eric Knodel to a one-year entry-level contract today. Knodel was the Leafs’ 2009 5th round draft pick who played four years at the University of New Hampshire, finishing his college career with a heartbreaking loss to UMass Lowell in the Hockey East Championship last Saturday.
Knodel registered 28 points (7 goals, 21 assists) with 28 penalty minutes and a +16 rating in 41 games as captain of the Wildcats this season. Over his three-year career at the University of New Hampshire (2011-12 to 2013-14), Knodel posted 20 goals and 41 assists for 61 points with 60 penalty minutes in 116 games.
The 6-foot-6 Knodel will now join the Marlies for the rest of their season armed with a one-year entry level contract that spans 2014-15. Needless to say, he’s got a short window to prove himself at the professional level.
I caught up with UNH Head coach Dick Umile for some quick comments on Knodel’s game.
On Eric’s four years at UNH:
“He progressed an awful lot. He turned into a League All Star in Hockey East, which says a lot. Any time you’re a League All Star in our League, it says something. He’s progressed to be a very talented defenceman, both defensively and offensively.
He led our powerplay. He was the key defenceman on the powerplay, the quarterback of the PP. He had a great shot, and scored several goals because of his shot and his release. He killed penalties. He played a tonne of minutes. He was our Chara. Played an awful lot of minutes.”
How mobile is he for a 6’6 225-pounder?
“He moves pretty good for a guy who is 6’6, but he’s got a great stick. A long stick, a long wingspan and he uses it well.”
Does he use the size to punish opponents?
“I wouldn’t say he’s an overly physical player. He’s not shy, but it’s not like he’s out there crushing people. I think he uses his stick, the length of his stick, and his reach to break up a lot of plays and control people one on one.”
Biggest area in need of improvement to take this next step at the AHL level?
“It’s always defensive play, physical play along the boards, and the speed and strength adjustment at the next level.”
A video of some of Knodel’s highlights this past season:
Get to know the man:
kessels new found rage will allow him to come out of his shell and emerge as our long awaited "captain"
Coaching is fluid. Just because Carlyle had success last year doesn't mean he should have expected to be able to do the same things this year. His roster was different, the other teams are different, and everyone adapts to better counter trends that are working out. I never wanted Carlyle as a coach, but it was hard to argue with the results last season. BUT, he got inspired play from his goons and for the first time in my memory, an awesome PK and pretty good treatment from the referees - a lot of blind eyes were turned. None of that happened this year, and yet there were no adaptations made.
Point is, you can like what Carlyle did last year and still think he's been an idiot this year. One does not prevent the other from being true.
well since today is my birthday I only made one wish and its for a leafs win 2nite followed by 5 more I think this is a fair request
Just got a letter of apology from Hydro One...Can't wait to see my next Hydro Bill ... Apology Letter Fee - $2.00
No 'i' in team huh?
@Burtonboy half my birthday wish is completed now
@Shift_Disturber1 He always looks up to the sky.
@philthethrill Happy birthday, my wish would have had something to do with Kate Upton but I admire your passion :)
@leafersutherland Two words..."Time out"
@Leafs rule Let's surf dude!!!!!
@ingy56 @TheCanucksnaphook And according to this other article below, the IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) brought in by Harris in 1998 meant we have to pay market prices. However, abundance meant we dump electricity to the US at negative prices. The running costs and debt are hidden via accounting by flipping the cost to Ontarians in our bills.
In other words, Ontarians are paying to turn on the lights in the US and they joke that that's where McGuinty lives now. What used to be ours, is now in the pockets of foreigners.
@ingy56 @TheCanucksnaphook According to the article below, Ontarians are paying for green initiatives like smart meters so that you are encouraged to use less ... yup, pay MORE to use LESS. We have abundant supply of energy yet the flow of money goes to foreign investors laughing their heads off.
Whoever omitted the cost-benefit analysis dure did not remember how cold our winters can be.
@Leafs rule @ingy56 @TheCanucksnaphook Clitheroe, and before that Maurice Strong. He was one dipshit, built a cottage near here and had the boys put all his poles and wires in on the house. He also had an elevator specially built at the head office so he could get some aboriginal war canoe hauled up there and mounted on the wall. Pigs at the trough.