Ian McCoshen is in his third season with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-2.5, 207-pound defenseman, No. 21 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters, has eight goals, 33 points and a plus-24 rating in 40 games this season. The Boston College-bound McCoshen has agreed to submit a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his progress leading up to the 2013 NHL Draft.
Our season has been a good one so far. With six weeks to go, we currently find ourselves in a race for the fourth and final spot for the playoffs this year. I believe it is a great chance for our team to seize the opportunity, rise to the challenge, and get it done. We could still climb in the standings and even catch our conference leader, Sioux Falls, with fourteen games to go.
I think that will help us if we use it to our advantage in preparing for the playoffs. The playoffs are about all-out battles every single shift. It will not get any easier, and we like the challenge ahead.
Personally, I feel that I have matured more and am more patient with the puck than I was in my first season as a Black Hawk. I believe I am also more comfortable with my strength and skating ability this year. I am focused on just trying to make the simple plays and put pucks on the net.
I have been paired with Mark Friedman, one of the youngest guys on our team. Mark and I have played half the year together and we push each other to be the best players every day. We are both really competitive guys and complement each other; I think that is why we are such a good pairing.
As the draft gets closer, there have been a lot of questions I’ve been getting. Each time the Central Scouting Rankings are updated or a prospect blogger talks to me, it comes up, but otherwise I try not to think about it.
My focus is making the playoffs and doing something special with the Black Hawks, first. Having been in Waterloo for three seasons with Vinnie Hinostroza, and with the players who are back after going to the Clark Cup finals last spring, and the rookies who, at this point are really now veterans, we want to have a memorable finish.
Then if it happens, it happens, on draft day.
Thanks for reading!
Follow Ian McCoshen on Twitter at: @ijmccoshen3