Jr. | D | Cottage Grove, Minn.
Key Statistics: Playing in all 39 games for the Huskies last season, Sova recorded career-best offensive numbers (3 goals, 10 assists), including a four-point weekend in Tech’s series split at Minnesota in December. But perhaps his most impressive numbers come in the classroom, where the WCHA All-Academic team member carries a 3.9 GPA as a marketing/management double major.
What He Does: In a six-month span during 10th grade, Sova sprouted from 5-foot-8 to 6-foot-2. One result of that growth was the ability to unleash a blistering slap shot. Now 6-foot-4, Sova is known throughout the WCHA for that shot, which his coaches call one of the hardest one-timers in the college game. But Huskies coach Mel Pearson knows that opponents get wise fast and is working on getting Sova to diversify on the ice and add more hard-to-defend elements to his game.
The Bigger Picture: After making a serious run at their first home playoff games in more than 20 years last winter and getting to the WCHA Final Five, the Huskies aren’t going to sneak up on anyone in 2012-13. And like Denver, Minnesota, and others, Tech has a stacked blue line that will be a key to success. Sova feels a key skill will be learning to get the puck from the boards to the center of the blue line quicker and better anticipate where there will be clear paths to the net for that slapper. Along with the shot, Pearson raves about improvements in Sova’s defensive game and the gradual reduction in the numbers of penalties he takes as he learns to control his big body. Pearson says he’s not afraid to put Sova up against other teams’ best players and adds that Sova is one of the most personable players he’s ever coached and the first of the current Huskies he likes recruits to meet.
Huskies coach Mel Pearson on Sova: “He’s got a lot of potential and that’s a scary word because you have it, but how do you get it out? Dan has to do some things as far as nutrition and re-shaping his body and making a commitment to that first, but he had a terrific spring and he looks great. He’s probably in the best shape of his life going into the fall, and I’m excited about that.”