Quebec Center Justin Hryckowian Hockey College Has College and Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
But Justin Hryckowian ignored that pressure. He decided early on that his path would include college, which meant stopping first in preschool and in the United States Hockey League.
"For me, I was playing in Lac for the Lac St-Louis Midget program in Montreal and we had a lot of men who were learning," said Cedar Rapids RoughRiders First Year Center. Boys like Mike Matheson (Florida Panthers) and Alex Killorn (Tampa Bay Lightning). From a young age, these were the guys I looked up to. Our coaching staff always promoted it. For me it was pointless. From a young age, I said that was what I wanted to do. Just more exercises, less games, more development. "
Hryckowian has had an immediate impact on the Horsemen, who defeated Omaha 2-1 on Friday night and played in Omaha on Saturday night. He had two goals and five assists in his first five USHL games, posting a plus-minus rating of plus-10.
"I'm not too sure what that means," Hryckowian said of his astonishing plus-minus rating. “I think my line mates have done pretty well, the team mates have been good. It seems we generate when we're out there. But it's an asset and I just have to stay consistent. That's what the best players do - be consistent. I'm not a big statistician, don't look at the statistics very much. Just try and play and do your best. As the coach says, just play every shift hard, because every shift counts. That's what I try and do. "
"First of all, he had a great summer," Carlson said. “When the boys are having a great summer wisely exercising, they will commit to a good year. That was the first thing I noticed with her. Many boys still don't understand it. The season you choose will be set in the summer. He understood this and worked on his physical form, body, skating and shooting. All under the sun. When you see him in June (then the start of practice), it's clear as night and day. Crystal, crystal clear. "
"Another thing about him is his level of competition," Carlson said. “He is in competition with his tail, he is gritty, he is physically and mentally tough. The third thing is that he just has really good ability. The first two things have allowed him a decent start and, in my opinion, put him in the position of being one hockey player. "
Hryckowian speaks fluent French, although he is not French-Canadian. Carlson got used to being told that his Quebec-based 18-year-old downtown club, Il Bizarde, chose the route he took instead of playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, saying the USHL is much better than that.
"It's been great," he said. “It's been a pretty big change for me from the Montreal landscape. And last year I also went to (Salisbury) Preschool (Connecticut). So it's been an adjustment for me, coming to the US and all that. But it has been great. The coaching staff here is unrealistic. My blanket family, all that. Returning players have been so welcoming and have immediately set a culture. "