Great players come and go in the world of junior and college hockey.
But, sometimes good and gifted players become even better at higher
levels (i.e. college and pro hockey) because of leagues like the North
American Hockey League (NAHL).
Two players who have come through the NAHL only to shine in their first
seasons of college hockey – Ryan Miller of Michigan State and Chris
Gobert of Northern Michigan- also played for the same junior team, the
Soo Indians of the NAHL under General Manager and head coach Joe
Shawhan. And it’s no secret that both were named to the All-CCHA Rookie
Team for ’99-’00 either.
Shawhan raves about players just like Miller and Gobert that he is now
developing, with hopes of similar results for the future.
“With Ryan Miller, we knew right away he was special,” said Shawhan.
“He had to strengthen up a bit because he had a growth spurt (from 5′ 6″
to 6′ 1″) in a short time.”
Shawhan says Miller probably had it in his bloodlines too, being
related to that infamous arsenal of Lansing area Millers – Kelly, Kevin,
“He (Ryan) always talked about making money at the game someday and I
know he will,” says Shawhan. “He’s that talented.”
Nobody knows about that talent more than MSU head coach Ron Mason, who
has coached all of the Millers – and now Ryan, whom he has watched play
since he was 5-years-old.
“I’ve watched him for a long time, watched him mature, grow like a
weed,” says Mason. “He has the mentality to succeed i Read more»