Strot feels good about Chill rookies

By Joel Badzinski | LaCrosse Tribune | Monday, July 25, 2011

ONALASKA — Coulee Region Chill coach Garrett Strot was happy to change his opinion about some of the first-year forwards the team brought in for its final tryout camp.

Strot went in believing players like Mac Jansen, Tyler Klein, Cory Lushanko and Myles Maltz would start their NAHL careers as role players while taking some time to develop into consistent scorers.

After watching Klein score three goals, Jansen and Lushanko put away two each and Maltz show off some deft playmaking during Sunday's scrimmage that closed the Chill's five-day camp at the OmniCenter, Strot was cautiously optimistic about his rookies' offensive skills.

"That was a tryout all-star game and three guys, two that we tendered and one that we drafted, scored seven goals," Strot said. "They've always been goal-scorers, and it'll take some time for them to adjust but what they did was nice to see."

The Chill announced their 2011-12 roster following Sunday's scrimmage and individual player meetings.

Jansen (White Bear Lake, Minn.), the team's first-round draft pick, Klein (Wayzata, Minn.) and Lushanko (Chisago Lakes, Minn.), whose rights the Chill got when they traded Chris Hughes to Michigan this past May, and fourth-round draft pick Maltz (Lansing Capitals AAA) were among 16 forwards who made the team.

Veterans David Ripple, Ben Jaremko, Tommy Miller, Jacob Batcha, Jake Useldinger and Jimmy Hughes will return. Bryan Broders, who saw limited time last season because of injuries, was cut.

Defensemen Matt Blomquist, Eric Drapluk, Ben Gislason, Andrew Pitts and Tate Rusk are back. Ryan Jaremko (Elk River, Minn.), Adam Barlow (South St. Paul, Minn.) and Adam Thomas (Milwaukee AAA) made it as rookies on defense.

Goaltender Aaron Davis will return. The team has not yet released the names of the other goaltenders it kept.

"I'm really excited for this year," Drapluk said. "A lot of the new kids will fit in. There's a lot of speed, a lot of good skaters. That's how we like to play."

The Chill open the season Sept. 14 against Jamestown at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minn.