Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I've instantly become a fan of Frank Schwab's coverage of the Tigers ever since the "other writer" left earlier this season. He has interesting topics, gets to the point, and actually has a point. Things that I always felt were lacking before. So, I'll be using his articles more often on here to get some discussion going(with proper credit of course!).
This particular article deals with Billy Sweatt and whether or not he'll move up to the NHL/AHL next season after being drafted by the rising Blackhawks last year. Personally, I think he should stay in college another year, not just for our sake but just to get bigger, stronger and more mature in life. It's funny how much you grow as a person that last 2 years of college and I think it would benefit him tremendously in the professional world. But that's just my 2 cents :)

CC's Sweatt must choose whether to stay or leave early for the pros

Bill Sweatt doesn't know what he's going to do when Colorado College's season is over and says he doesn't like to think about it.

The junior wing will have a tough choice. He was a second-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007 and could leave early to start his professional career. He's just not sure that's what he wants to do.

"I've thought about it," Sweatt said. "But having any idea, no.

"I'm going to weigh the benefits of staying here and the benefits of going. It's going to be a real tough decision and, when it comes time to make that decision, I'm going to have to sit down and think about it for a couple days. But I don't like to think about it during the season because I don't want it to distract from my play or the team."

Sweatt points out that he is only 20. Another year would help him as a person, as a player and it would also allow him to get his degree on time.

"Just another year to mature," he said. "And if things didn't work out in professional hockey, I'd always have something to fall back on."

The Tigers are prepared for either possibility. Coach Scott Owens said he wouldn't be shocked if Sweatt left.

"On the other hand, he's the kind of kid that might come back one more year and figure out where he fits in their system," Owens said, referring to the Blackhawks.

Sweatt was a Western Collegiate Hockey Association scholar athlete and member of the all-WCHA academic team last year. Owens said Sweatt is a good student and pointed out it runs in the family. Bill's brother, Lee, won the WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year award in 2007.

Sweatt also is making strides on the ice. He has nine goals, one short of tying his high for a season with several games remaining. He also has played well with opponents focusing on him. He and Chad Rau are the constants on CC's top line so they get most of the defensive attention.

Sweatt looks at that as a positive.

"We're going against their best defensive shutdown guys, but it's a challenge," Sweatt said. "We accept that challenge and we're excited about it."

Owens said Sweatt is having a very good year, considering everything he does for the team. He gets a lot of ice time on the top line in normal situations and also is part of all of the special teams.

"He's playing hard, he's physical, he's playing a lot of minutes and he's matured as a person and a player," Owens said. "He competes."

Fredheim out

CC defenseman Kris Fredheim will miss up to six weeks because of a knee injury, team trainer Jason Bushie said. Fredheim, who has two goals and three assists, sprained his medial collateral ligament in practice Monday.


Anonymous said...

Let's hope the experience of big brother Lee will prove influential in a positive way. Bill would of course be a real go-to guy next season, and would most likely wear an 'A'.