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The Young Turk - Ahmet Ali


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Born Azmet Ali in Boston, Massachusetts to immigrant parents from Istanbul, Turkey, hockey was never a tradition in the Ali family. His mother had a sibling in the suburbs of Detroit that the family would visit for the winter holidays and it was during these trips that Azmet started falling in love with the game of hockey. His aunt and uncle had five sons, all of whom played hockey, and they treated Azmet like a sixth when he was in town. The young Turk dreamed all year of three on three pickup games on the backyard rink in the cold of December and the annual New Year’s Eve Red Wings game, which the entire family would go to.


But it was a struggle to get Mr. and Mrs. Ali to support playing. Azi’s parents wanted nothing for him but to get good grades, go to a good school, and get a good job. By the time he finally convinced his parents to get him into a league Azi was eleven years old. The squirt league made a special exception for him to play because he was too old but he didn’t have the skills to play peewee, and [the parents of] his teammates all called him Big Azi since he was so much larger than everyone else. From then until he started playing midget hockey Azi embraced the name “Big” and he played like it. By the time he was eligible for the juniors he was considered to have more potential than a New England team could unlock, and he decided to try and get picked up by a team in Michigan.




At the age of 16 he was eligible for the North American Hockey League and was drafted by the Port Huron Fighting Falcons in the third round. Azi jumped at the opportunity to play in the state that he learned to love hockey. He moved in with his Aunt and Uncle and Cousins and in the traditional hockey environment he learned everything about hockey. His uncle coached a junior team and each of his cousins played as well. The oldest cousin had even played 33 games in the VHL before fading out and being cut. Hockey was their world and he was living in it.




That lasted for a year and a half. The Port Huron-based Falcons’ Texas-based owner was notorious for skimping on maintaining the team. Attendance was down, admission prices were up, and the team had failed to make the playoffs for four years. The coaching staff was under pressure to make moves to try and save their jobs and Azi was one of the moves made. The divisional rival Jr. Blues in Springfield, Illinois had seen plenty of the young Turk and acquired him for a second-round draft pick to plug some holes left open by injury.




Leaving Michigan upset Azi. Despite his almost immediate success in Springfield, he didn’t like being away from family. In an effort to feel closer to home he dove into his studies. That was the year, at age seventeen, to start applying to a good college in order to get a good job. His devotion to study improved his work ethic both on and off the ice and when it came time for the scouts to look at Springfield, almost all had inquired about Azmet Ali. The day after Springfield won the NAHL Championship, Azi accepted an invitation to the University of Vermont. The next year with the Jr. Blues he enjoyed his best statistical year and won the NAHL’s Academic Achievement Award.






In Burlington Azi enrolled in the pre-med program with every intention of becoming a sports therapist out of college. He was determined to be the best student possible, willing to cruise through a collegiate hockey career without acclaim. So it was a surprise to everyone when he finished the season as the team’s second highest scorer and with the third highest ice time for a forward. It seemed the harder he worked at school, the better he played hockey. With a degree in Kinesiology and a 3.9 GPA, Ali has “doctor” to fall back on if "professional VHLer" doesn’t pan out



Intelligence + Ali is a true student of hockey. He understands systems and strategy at a higher level than most players his age. What he lacks in talent he makes up for determination and smart decision making. His positioning and anticipation reflect this tactical awareness, he knows when to not take a penalty and how to manage the clock. Rarely turns the puck over.


Leadership + Displays great teamwork and motivation, improves the play of his linemates. He is always willing to give up his body for the right play. Passes unselfishly and will work hardest when the team needs him most. Is a presence in the locker room and will try to support his teammates in every situation. Battles along the boards and goes to the dirty areas.


Versatility + Would be considered a special teams specialist if he wasn’t also useful in even strength situations. He logs heavy minutes on the penalty kill and has potential for the second power play. Extremely responsible defensively and possesses some offensive skill - can step in to both wing positions comfortably. Can step in for a faceoff, but shouldn’t be relied upon heavily.



Point Production – There are concerns about Ali’s ability to score when he’s not on a line with a goal scorer. He seems to score his points by being in good position rather than through playmaking ability. While his wrist shot is above average, his slap shot is laughable. Stays away from creative passes, has difficulty pulling off big dekes, and generally needs to improve his creativity.


Speed – Ali is a big player, using his size to his advantage, but has big player problems. On his best days he has trouble keeping up with quicker players. He is strong on the puck, taking hits left and right, and very difficult to knock off his feet in order to make up for his inability to create distance between himself and defenders. Acceleration is a problem, though he is a train once he gets going.


Ambition – Hockey was never the end goal for Azi, who always imagined he’d end up getting a degree and a career from his college. He struggles to maintain professionalism at time and plays to play, never for the glory of winning or the pleasure in beating opponents. For some players the only way they go home happy is with the cup but Azi, at times, finds coming up short acceptable.





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decision making > decision-making? i don't think thats a big deal

tactical awareness, he knows > tactical awareness; he knows?

linemates > line mates?

Battles along the boards and goes to the dirty areas. > fragment?


If i got any of them, i don't want ur salary



Btw, ur player visited and actually played for the team where my player grew up when he came to the states. Port Huron, Michigan.

Edited by d3vilsfire
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Overview: 3/3 - A nice introduction into the life of Azmet Ali. While he may not have had a traditional hockey background, Ali has done enough work to put himself in a position to succeed in the VHL. Hey, if it fails here, like you said, having a doctorate is a pretty good Plan B.


Grammar: 2/2 - Just a couple small ones. So do I get that salary? :P


Aunt and Uncle and Cousins = aunt and uncle and cousins

pan out = pan out.

for determination = for in determination


Presentation: 1/1 - Nice.


Pros: 2/2 - Yup.


Cons: 2/2 - Yup.


Overall: 10/10

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