So. | D | New Hudson, Mich.
Mazzolini, an Alaska native, won an NAHL championship
with the Texas Tornado in junior hockey.
Key Statistics: Lawson
was named to the CCHA All-Rookie team last season after
scoring four goals and 15 assists in 38 games for the
Fighting Irish. His work in the classroom was even more
impressive — Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said
Lawson posted a 3.5 grade point average during the second
semester, up nearly a point from the first semester.
What He Does: Watching
Lawson play is similar to listening to Tchaikovsky's
"1812 Overture"; one can take pleasure in
the bells and cannons the first time around, but it
takes repeated exposures to appreciate the nuances that
blend to create the whole. In Lawson's case, his puck
skills, positional play, and physicality are readily
apparent. It's his vision, ability to recognize plays
moments before they unfold, and steadying influence
on the ice that become noticeable the more one sees
The Bigger Picture: Though
he played with a poise of a seasoned veteran, Lawson
was afforded the luxury of playing alongside senior
rearguards Noah Babin, Wes O'Neill, and Tom Sawatske
last season. This time around, much of the task of nurturing
a corps of young, talented defensemen — including
highly touted newcomers Ian Cole and Ted Ruth —
falls on his shoulders. Jackson says Lawson, with his
calm demeanor and motivational skills, is ideal for
the leadership role. And, as evidenced by his captaincy
of the U.S. team at last winter's World Junior Championship,
he's capable of handling the myriad of personalities
in the locker room.
Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson
on Lawson: “Kyle has a real maturity
to his game. He thinks the game so well, and he has
the ability to slow the game down in his mind. You learn
to appreciate the things he brings to the game from
a hockey perspective and an emotional perspective."