So. | D | Atlanta, Ga.
Key Statistics: Kamrass finished his freshman season with one goal and 10 assists for 11 points while playing in 33 of the River Hawks’ games. He picked up six power-play assists en route to Hockey East All-Rookie honors.
What He Does: It’s difficult to put a label on Kamrass; he’s not a pure offensive defenseman, nor is he a pure stay-at-home blue-liner. What he is is a reliable puck-moving defenseman, exceptionally good in transition. Last season, he finished as the second-highest point scoring defenseman on the roster for the River Hawks, but also was a strong presence in his own end of the ice. Kamrass ended his year with seven points in his final five games against Hockey East foes. ‘Consistent’ was the word repeatedly used to describe him by UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin. “Last year, he got more minutes than he should have, because we had little depth at that position,” Bazin said. “This year, we’ve got that depth, but we’re looking for him to take a bigger role in terms of leadership. Despite being a sophomore, we’re looking for more from him this season.”
The Bigger Picture: No team around the country was as big of a surprise as the River Hawks last season, as Bazin led his club to within a game of the Frozen Four, one year removed from a six-win campaign. Behind a strong defensive unit, a group that loses just one player in graduated senior Tim Corcoran, and the emergence of goaltender Doug Carr, the River Hawks ranked 14th nationally last year in scoring defense. Bazin isn’t resting on the success his team found in his first season, having fully turned the page to the new season. “We don’t put thought into past years,” Bazin said. “If I did, I’d have been pretty concerned going into last year. We work with the chemistry going into the team every year, and try to make the chemistry blend. We’ve got some new faces in the lineup, and we want to integrate them into a strong team culture.”
Head Coach Norm Bazin on Kamrass’ development as a freshman: “The latter part of last year was a really good time for him. He was really coming along well around Christmas time, then an injury kept him out for five games. He regained his groove at the end of the season – I think he was figuring it out. The challenge now is to play the same minutes with a deeper group back there and continue to help our team be successful on the ice.”