Jr. | F | Brantford, Ontario
scored 29 points for the Broncos last season—all
but three of them came prior to Feb. 1.
Statistics: While his overall numbers were solid
– 6-23—29 in 37 games – they could’ve
been spectacular. Szczechura managed just one goal and two
assists in the Broncos’ final 15 contests.
He Does: Brent Walton, who cracked the 50-point plateau,
and Vince Bellissimo, who left school early to join the Florida
organization, garnered most of the attention, but Szczechura
(pronounced shuh-HER-uh) is probably the team’s most
complete player. He’s a good skater, plays smart in
all three zones, possesses solid defensive skills and is an
excellent puckhandler and passer. His ability to read the
play and move the puck to the wings for prime scoring opportunities
was a major reason why Walton (21 goals) and Bellissimo (17
goals) were so prolific.
Bigger Picture: It should come as no surprise that
Szczechura is so fundamentally solid – his hockey coach
for three seasons in Brantford, Ont., as a youngster was Walter
Gretzky. With Bellissimo’s departure, the Broncos have
to find a replacement for a guy who scored 49 goals and 113
points during his three seasons in Kalamazoo. A few more goals
from Szczechura would be a plus, but it’s more likely
that he’ll be counted on to put the puck on the tape
of one of the team’s younger wingers for scoring chances.
Michigan coach Jim Culhane on Szczechura: “Paul
is probably one of the smartest kids that I’ve coached
at Western. [He] is a very good student of the game. I think
the biggest thing for him now is to grow as one of our leaders.
He’s relied upon to do a lot of things for us as a team,
and I think he’s well respected by his teammates.”