Hi, My Name Is ... Cody Goloubef
Last year, the Wisconsin Badgers were loaded with defensemen. Entering the season, their top four were all high NHL draft picks. Three of those four are back this year, but it seems that junior Ryan McDonagh (NHL rights: N.Y. Rangers) gets a lot of the attention. While people gush -- justifiably -- about McDonagh's skills, junior Cody Goloubef (Columbus) might have become the best of the bunch.
While McDonagh is struggling a bit to start the season, spending too much time in the penalty box and not producing a lot of offense, Goloubef continues to show all-around improvement to his game.
After starting out in 2007 as the youngest player in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Goloubef showed he was mature beyond his years. He picked up ten points in 40 games as a freshman, then improved his output in his sophomore season.
Goloubef is a smart player. He makes great first passes out of his defensive zone, and is very capable offensively. It's very hard to trap the Badgers in their own end with Goloubef on the ice, because he has such a good sense for the forecheck pressure and can get the puck away from heat. He doesn't have a booming shot, but he is effective at finding shooting lanes and getting the puck to the net. While he's a good positional player who is rarely in the wrong spot, Goloubef isn't the most physical, and he can be a bit limited trying to play against bigger forwards.
Already possessing plenty of international experience, Goloubef is going to be a nice addition to the Columbus organization in the near future. Yes, they've done well populating their team with forwards, but Goloubef can bring them an offensive dimension they really don't have much of right now.
Not only that, but a full season of playing against some of the big, tough, and experienced forwards he'll see in the WCHA is only going to help his pro preparation.
Other Players to Watch
It's not often that a team can boast two five-point performances in a single game, but it happened Saturday. Minnesota Duluth -- off a 3-2 upset loss Friday in which they outshot visiting Michigan Tech 50-19 -- blitzed the Huskies 8-1. Junior Justin Fontaine (undrafted) had four goals and one assist, posting UMD's first four-goal game in nearly 12 years. Sophomore forward Mike Connolly (undrafted) scored once and assisted on four other goals. If that wasn't enough, junior Rob Bordson (undrafted) had four assists.
Sophomore forward Zac Dalpe (Carolina) assisted on two goals Friday, then scored twice Saturday, as Ohio State swept Western Michigan with matching 4-2 wins.
Two years ago, then-freshman goalie Richard Bachman burst on the WCHA scene, leading Colorado College to a league championship and NCAA bid. Now, with Bachman gone to the Dallas Stars organization, another freshman has taken the ball. Joe Howe (2010 draft eligible) stopped 59 of 61 shots as the Tigers swept Minnesota State, Mankato, over the weekend. Howe is now 7-1-1 in nine starts for CC, who has the unexpected early lead in the league (they were picked in the bottom half of the league in preseason polls).
After suffering their first loss of the year Friday at Yale, Cornell rallied to blow out Brown 6-0. Senior Colin Greening (Ottawa) had three assists, while senior Blake Gallagher (undrafted) scored twice and assisted on a goal. Senior goalie Ben Scrivens (undrafted), who was one of the nation's best last year, pitched the shutout with 28 saves.
Merrimack and Boston University split an exciting home-and-home series. The Warriors won on their ice Friday, 6-3, while BU won at home Saturday 6-4. Merrimack freshman Stephane da Costa (undrafted) had four more points (two goals, two assists) on the weekend, and now has 14 points in just eight games. Meanwhile, BU got three points from sophomore forward Chris Connolly (undrafted) in their Saturday win, and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (Colorado) had three points on the weekend.