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Dubuque's Knierim talks season, plans for holiday

by William Knierim

William Knierim, a B-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's September players to watch list for the 2016 NHL Draft, is in his second season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 207-pound right wing has two goals, four points and 16 shots on goal in 12 games this season. The Skokie, Ill., native is committed to Miami University in 2016-17. Knierim has offered to maintain a blog for leading up to the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo, N.Y.

Hey everyone. I'm writing my third blog of the year as we are just about one-fourth of the way through the season.

So 13 games in and my team, the Dubuque Fighting Saints, sits at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Yes, we have been playing very well. But I think because we are so close as a team off the ice, it translates onto the ice and that really makes a difference. All the boys in the locker room love each other and we are willing to do anything for the team because we know that the guy next to us will do the same.

That being said, I'm not knocking our ability or performance. We have been working really hard on the ice and in the weight room to put ourselves in this position. And it's not like there's one or two guys who are carrying the rest of the team. We have been getting contributions from up and down the lineup.

Personally I've been trying to pull my weight so I can help the team, but the start has been a little rocky. After having just two points in my first nine games, I've got points in two of the last three games. I'm really looking to keep that going so I can continue to help my team.

I think the first nine games of the season I got away from my routine, or superstitions. The past couple games I went back to my old superstitions. I use white tape and then I draw eyes on the blade. I always put my left shin guard on before my right one and tie my left skate before my right one and do the same with the rest of my equipment.

But my biggest superstition is I have to skate on the ice for warmups and the game behind Gordie Green, who wears No. 9 on my team. He always makes sure I'm behind him when he goes out. I'm looking forward to keeping that as him and I will both be going to Miami next year together.

As the end of November approaches, Thanksgiving will be arriving. I will not be able to go back to Chicago and feast with my real family. However, the team is getting together on that day to have one big dinner. I'm pretty thankful for such an amazing team and town to play in. I am truly blessed to be with the Fighting Saints organization.

Another thing that will be approaching at the end of November is the NHL Central Scouting November players to watch list. People have asked me if I'm curious where I'll end up and the answer is yes. I'm curious, but in no way will I stress over where I am.

The list in November isn't nearly as important as the one that's on the screen in Buffalo come June.

Follow Willie Knierim on Twitter at: @27WillieKnierim

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