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Claimed:Jack Kowalski Rookie Profile [Final: 8/8]


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Name: Jack Kowalski

Position: Defenseman

Height: 6'5

Weight: 245 lbs

Age: 27

Nationality: USA


It has been a long journey for Jack Kowalski, but his path to the Victory Hockey League has nearly been realized. The San Antonio native has managed to successfully convert from a life of football to the vastly different lifestyle of hockey. Drafted with the second pick of the second round (12th overall) by the Oslo Storm, Kowalski's VHL career began billed as a goon that could deliver big hits with his checking abilities and his fists, but he has instead developed into a surprisingly effective defensive player in Oslo. Instead of dropping the gloves and spending the night in the penalty box, he has been blocking shots and setting up teammates on offense, although he has definitely delivered on initial promises of being a physical player. But after a full regular season in the VHLM, how does Jack Kowalski stack up as a VHL prospect?




With the Storm being a very deep and skilled defensive team, Kowalski has fit in like a glove. He spent time on lines with the equally physical Vladamir Komarov along with offensive-minded Lloyd Light. After a mid-season trade brought in Jaime Hill from the Bern Royals, she was paired with Kowalski on the second line, although he continued to work with Komarov in some situations. However, despite being paired with two of the VHLM's hardest-hitting defenders, Kowalski has held his own in his only season in the minors. In 72 games, he recorded 220 hits, good for 6th in the league. Hill and Komarov come in at 3rd and 4th on that list, for the record. Even in a league where typically the biggest fish gets all the hits, Kowalski has been able to deliver on promises of physicality, even with two other big hitters on the Storm.




Another surprise with Kowalski has been his fighting abilities, or rather his lack of them. Initially billed as a "complete goon," those claims have so far proven to be completely false. He did not drop the gloves once this season while spending only 84 minutes in the penalty box. Of the four defensemen on the team, only Lloyd Light has spent less time in the sin bin. Kowalski has also demonstrated far more ability on defense than anticipated, blocking 104 shots and maintaining a +27 on the season. Not bad for a player that many anticipated to be on the ice only to take cheap shots and get into fights.




As a result of his clean play, Kowalski has gotten more opportunities on offense as well. Although he is definitely not offensively oriented, he has scored 14 goals on 104 shots, giving him a respectable shooting percentage of 13.73. He has also assisted on 56 other goals, giving him 70 points for the season. Clearly not lighting up the scoreboard, but ideally should provide valuable depth for a second pairing defenseman, which is likely exactly what VHL teams will be looking for him to provide.






Kowalski is definitely not going to be a flashy selection, but he'll be the type of player to quietly improve his team on and off the ice. Won't produce much on offense at the VHL player, but will be a formidable defender in due time for even the veteran players. Despite the lack of domination in the minor leagues, Kowalski is poised for success at the professional level and will prove to become a nuisance in a different way than initially anticipated. Will become a rock for a team to build off of, an excellent first piece for a rebuilding franchise.


Projection: Second Overall Pick to Stockholm Vikings, First Line Pairing

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