The off-season is a time to sit back, relax and take a breather. It is also a time for players and coaching staff to reflect, inspect and dissect the season and look forward to the season ahead.
Zach Bogosian reflected on his first season in Winnipeg from a personal aspect and despite the disappointment of missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, he was overall content with his progress and with where his game sits at today. Sure, he had his share of ups and downs with injuries that held him to just 65 games, but that aside, he made huge strides towards becoming the player he wants to be.
“I feel a lot better about it,” Bogosian said about his season. “Last year I had my struggles and a lot of ups and downs. When you have a year like that, I had a lot to prove to myself and to the organization that I could be the player that I want to be. I think I’m moving in the right direction.”
The 21-year-old from up-state New York set a career high for assists and points, finishing with five goals and 30 points. Last year, he finished with five goals and 17 points. His most noticeable improvement was his plus-minus column. After finishing at minus-27 last year he improved to a minus-3 this year.
Working under the wing of assistant coach Charlie Huddy, Bogosian believes that it’s been a combination of good coaching and a comfortable living situation that has made all the difference, and making the transition to Winnipeg was the easiest part.
“For whatever reason, I’ve seemed to find a home here and know my role,” said Bogosian. “Being from a small town, I guess being in a big city you never really feel comfortable, but Winnipeg seems like a ‘little-big’ town, I guess.
"It has definitely been comforting to live here, just knowing that everything is so close and having the support that we have is great."
Like many of the players on the roster, Bogosian has only Atlanta to compare to at the NHL level. He, along with several other players around the room were quick to express their gratitude to the Winnipeg fans and let them know just how much fun it is to play at the MTS Centre.
It's my kind of city. It's a blue-collar city where everyone works hard and everyone is friendly. I like it a lot." - Zach Bogosian
“Playing in front of a fan-base like this is always fun,” he said. “You know there is always going to be an extra player on the ice at all times. It’s a great atmosphere to play in front of every night.”
What surprised Bogosian the most about Winnipeg was how well the fans actually knew them, on and off the ice.
“Whether it’s at the grocery store or out having a beer, everyone just knows who you are,” he said. “I didn’t really know what it was going to be like when I was home in the summer last year, but it’s been great to see how happy people are to have us back and the support we get is unbelievable."
Bogosian returns to his small hometown of Massena, NY for the summer, where he enjoys spending time with his dogs and his active hunting hobby.
“May 1st is turkey season....so up-state New York will be in some trouble!” he chuckled.Author: Kristi Hennessy