LAKings.com's Prospect of the Week: Czarnik
|Robbie Czarnik is starting to feel more comfortable in the OHL after his transfer from Michigan.
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Whether it is the transition from a new job or adapting to life in a new city, it can often take awhile for one to gain a sense of comfort and familiarity again.
For Robbie Czarnik, it was no different.
Starting the year in college playing at the University of Michigan, Czarnik made the jump to the OHL in November. In his first couple of games with the Plymouth Whalers, Czarnik was not much of a factor offensively.
Yet with time has come a sense of comfort, and the results have shown on the ice. In 22 games with the Whalers, Czarnik has seven goals 14 assists for 21 points, earning the distinction as this weeks LAKings.coms Prospect of the Week.
Los Angeles Kings Director of Player Development, Nelson Emerson, said he could only imagine what it was like to transition from the college game to the OHL but that he could see there was a learning curve Czarnik had to go through.
"It took a little bit of time for him to adjust to the different leagues," Emerson said. "By that I mean there are more games, the style of play is different, and I think what you saw is that it took a little bit of time for him to get his feet wet. Now what you are seeing is he's more accustomed to his teammates and he's more comfortable."
This season Czarnik played 12 games at Michigan, scoring three goals and notching three assists. On Nov. 23, Czarnik made the jump to the OHL.
Czarnik played a large role in the Whalers last game, a 7-4 win over the Windsor Spitfires. With game tied 2-2 in the second period, Czarnik scored two goals and notched two assists in the same period to break the game open for the Whalers, who currently sit in second place in the West Division and fourth overall in the Western Conference with a record of 26-20-1 and 53 points.
"He's becoming more used to the players and to the style of play and he's using it to his advantage," Emerson said.
Emerson said that one of Czarnik's greatest attributes is that he possesses tremendous speed on the ice he. Emerson also noted that if Czarnik could add another 15 pounds of strength to his frame, then he would be a powerful skater in addition to the speed he already has.
"On a continuing basis he needs to go to the hard areas, win the puck battles, and get into the shooting lanes and work on that back-up part of his game," Emerson said.