When the 2009-10 season was about to get underway, the one Ranger prospect who we felt was in the biggest danger of falling off the radar was forward Danny Hobbs (2007 7th). His freshman season at UMass was known more for being the healthy scratch than anything else.
His coach Don Cahoon stuck by his young forward saying that Hobbs still had NHL potential and the biggest area he needed work on was his confidence. Cahoon has only been coaching college hockey for 23 years so we are not going to argue with him.
Especially not when his 2009-10 UMass Minutemen has so far been one of the biggest surprises in college hockey. The Minutemen were not expected to do much this season; in their own conference Hockey East, they were picked to finish 7th (out of 10 teams).
Both Hobbs and the Minutemen have been big surprises this season; UMass the team is ranked 9th in the latest college hockey poll while sitting in first place in Hockey East. Hobbs has gone from healthy scratch to 2nd line left wing as a sophomore.
On Tuesday, Hobbs scored his 2nd goal of the season in the 2rd period as UMass defeated Vermont 6-2. Hobbs even took 2 minors which for him is a rarity.
Hobbs is now finally starting to show that offensive confidence that Coach Cahoon said he needed in his game. When the Rangers took Hobbs in the 7th round, Gordie Clark told us that they felt Hobbs was a player who played better against better competition.
The way Hobbs is showing improvements this season he is starting to prove both men right. With the goal Hobbs is now 2-4-6 in 11 games which may not be earth shattering but it is a big 180 from where Hobbs was last season.
Daniel Maggio (2009 6th) and his Sudbury Wolves dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds. Maggio had a costly turnover that led to one of the Greyhound goals and was scoreless on the night.
Luke Walker (Traverse City) and his Portland Winterhawks returned home from a British Columbia road trip and played like they left their game back in Canada. The Winterhawks lost to the Regina Pats 6-3 with Walker held scoreless and a -2.
Sad to see that only 1971 fans showed up for a Tuesday night game as the Winterhawks deserve more support than that.
(Hobbs courtesy of Dennis Peace)
4 days ago