Past Highlander fits the bill!, News (Grey-Bruce Highlanders AAA Minor Hockey Association)

PrintNews Article
Click to view full-size image
Past Highlander fits the bill!
Submitted By dmoffatt on Friday, November 5, 2010
Czuczman glad he took 1 last shot.

Cuddy Shark
By John Cudmore



This one is for all those little guys who’ve been turned away in hockey — or any sport for that matter — based on physical stature.

Newmarket Hurricanes defenceman Kevin Czuczman fits the bill.

Next week, when the NCAA’s fall signing window opens, the defenceman is poised to ink a scholarship package with Lake Superior State University where he will begin classes next year. But for Czuczman (pronounced Church-man), it was no forgone conclusion a hockey career was in the cards.

In fact, he seriously considered giving up chasing any kind of hockey career after last season when, as a member of the Junior B Waterloo Siskins, no NCAA attention came his way.

“I didn’t talk to any schools last year so I thought it was time I got on with my life. I was down after last season when there was no interest.”

Fast forward to a successful tryout with the Newmarket Hurricanes and a steady presence on the team’s blueline. The 19-year-old finally started to generate interest among schools in October and really stepped up his game during the OJHL Governors Showcase.

“Everything has happened so quick, ever since the showcase in Aurora,” said Czuczman, a part-time York University student. “To have something like that thrown at you is pretty overwhelming to say the least.”

In the end, he chose Newmarket over the Oakville Blades and Kingston Voyageurs as a junior destination based on conversations with other players, including teammate Braeden Rigney, with whom he played minor hockey.

“I talked to some guys in the league that I’d played with and it was Newmarket’s track record. It was all Newmarket, Newmarket, Newmarket.”

Overlooked in his Ontario Hockey League draft year, Czuczman was discouraged when his minor midget coach moved him to the forward lines.

There isn’t much call for a five-foot, five-inch defenceman in junior hockey. It’s a long way from the six-foot-three, 200-pound-frame with which he is now patrolling the Hurricanes’ blue line, tallying one goal and 10 points in 19 games.

“My whole life, I played defence,” Czuczman said. “Then, in my draft year, my coach moved me to forward. He thought I was too small to play defence. I want to play pro one day so it’s twice as hard. But it is added motivation.”

The scholarship package is significant and a payoff, perhaps, for the way the hockey gods have treated him in recent seasons. He is expected to sign the paperwork Nov. 10.

He also had discussions with schools such as Clarkson and Dartmouth.

Hurricanes head coach Brian Perrin remembers Czuczman from his days as a member of the Grey-Bruce Highlanders triple-A program.

“He was really good, but so small,” Perrin said. “I guess he just shot up and grew into his body.”

Now that his future is decided, he vows there will be no letup in his game as he tries to help the Hurricanes match last season’s run to the OHA final.

“I want the whole team to get scholarships or move on to the next level,” he said.

This article has been viewed 9205 times.
Manage Subscriptions
Signup to receive email or text messages for the teams you want to follow.
News ArchiveOther Recent Articles
  • 29
    Sep
    Organization
    The Grey Bruce Highlanders are offering a Player Development Program for players at the U10/U11 age groups.  The goal of the Program is to introduce local players to AAA hockey and to further develop their skills and skating.
  • 27
    Sep
    Organization
    As the 2021/22 GOJHL Jr. B Hockey season got under way this past weekend. The Grey Bruce Highlanders Organization would like to send congratulations to all the former Highlanders who made their regular season debut and joined the other former GBH ...
  • 21
    Sep
    Organization
    COVID update - As of September 22, 2021 anyone 12 years of age or older entering arena facilities will have to provide proof of full vaccination, meaning having received the second vaccination at least 14 days prior to the event.  At this point, we ...
  • 03
    Sep
    Organization
    Registration is now closed in order for the organization and coaches to plan and work with COVID number restrictions.  If you would still like to register or have further inquiries, please direct your request to the GBH organization email - ...
  • 03
    Sep
    Organization
    ALL ELIGIBLE PARTICIPANTS REQUIRED TO BE FULLY VACCINATED FOR COVID-19 BY OCTOBER 31 Please review the attached Ontario Minor Hockey Association COVID_19 vaccine policy. OMHA is our governing body and GBH has to follow suit with its policies. We ...
  • 01
    Sep
    Organization
    The Grey Bruce Highlanders are pleased to announce the recipients of the the Zachary Herrold and the Michael O'Hara awards.
  • 25
    Aug
    Organization
    TRYOUT REGISTRATION The online registration form will be active from August 27, 2021 until September 3, 2021.  Due to COVID restrictions and numbers caps at the arenas ALL players wishing to attend the Grey Bruce Highlander tryouts MUST BE ...
  • 13
    Aug
    Organization
    The website has been updated with the dates and times for the Pre-tryout skates, Tryouts and any associated clinics.  The Pre-Tryout skates will be held September 7th & 8th, the Body Checking clinic will be held on September 9th, the Goalie clinic ...
Printed from highlandershockey.ca on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 1:02 PM