Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nanook Skater of the Week: Joe Sova

Image from AlaskaNanooks.com

This week's selection for the new skater of the week piece (see below) goes to sophomore defenseman Joe Sova. Joe has been incredibly valuable on the Nanooks blue line, and an asset to the Nanooks' nationally elite defense. His defensive positioning is outstanding, staying in the shooting and passing lanes, getting his stick down on the ice and preventing opposing forwards to connect, along with challenging the puck along the boards, making his opponents work for every point that they get. Overall, Joe leads the Nanooks in the plus/minus column at +6.

But what makes Sova so special is his offensive prowess. He is a pretty dangerous player from the point. He has an incredibly accurate shot, and I'll use the Brice goal rush as a perfect example, mainly because the game against Michigan can't be found on YouTube...

This video against RPI illustrates two points, his defensive dive he made pretty much saved the goal right there. But the goal he got was very pretty, sniped it top right. His goal against Michigan was very similar but was on the rush, and Hogan was so far in front of the net that Sova didn't have much of an angle to shoot at, but it didn't matter, he made it anyway.

Joe is second on the team in shooting percentage as well at 18.8%, netting 3 goals on 16 shots. He is 3rd on the team in total points with 7 through all 10 games this season. Joe also sits in 2nd in the CCHA overall for scoring defenseman.

A couple of seasons a go, after Doc's reign came to an abrupt end, the departure of Nanook defenseman and Hobey Baker finalist Tyler Eckford before his senior season left a lot of worried fans out there wondering who could fill his skates. I think Sova fills them pretty well, and by his junior/senior year, he will be nationally considered as an elite defenseman, if he hasn't drawn that attention already.

Great job Joe, you have skated very well for this team and are well deserving of your selection as the first Alaska Nanooks Hockey Blog Skater of the Week.

So I'm going to try to put out a new piece that I'll keep up each week highlighting a Nanook skater. If you want to nominate a player, feel free to email me your nomination, and include anything in the email you feel justifies their selection as the skater of the week. Since this isn't a democracy though, I am the sole person on the selection committee, with some potential insight solicited from my puck-minded friends, and thus I have the ultimate say in who gets named here. My personal criteria for selection are based on performance, not just in the recent games, but on the season as a whole. Players are chosen based on impact to the team, and their value. I will make a player of the week post each week on Tuesday or Wednesday with my selection. I may try to get interviews with the players when applicable, however, the protocol to get an interview with the players formally may be more than its worth, but I may try to get a chance to sit down with some of the seniors that I choose down the road. I know the players are reading this, but unfortunately, as much as I would want to actually give you guys something for being named here, I'm poor. So all you win is bragging rights. Hopefully, down the line, I might be able to get a local business to make a donation to this section, or something of that nature. I have an idea for one sponsor, so I'll have to approach them and see how that goes.

No comments: