The 2009 draft has already yielded some dividends to the New Jersey Devils. Both 1st Rounder Jacob Josefson and 3rd Rounder Alexander Urbom have already made their NHL debuts and some other picks are performing well in their respective leagues. One of those players is 2009 5th Round Pick, Left Wing Derek Rodwell. Drafted after a decent season from the AJHL's Okotoks Oilers, Rodwell played the following year in the same league as an overage player having a breakout year. He had committed to the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux (who have helped produce current Devils Zach Parise and Travis Zajac) and began his college career this year.
I wanted to get a better insight to how he has performed so far this season so I reached out to Brad Schlossman who is the Fighting Sioux beat reporter at the Grand Forks Herald. He has a great blog which I encourage you to check out for information on Rodwell and other WCHA activity. If you recall the WCHA has Devils prospects at Minnesota (Mike Hoeffel, Seth Heglesen) and Wisconsin (Joe Faust). You can also follow Brad on twitter @SchlossmanGF
After the jump Brad graciously answers my questions on Devils Left Wing prospect Derek Rodwell.
Tom: What were your expectations of his role this year? From a UND preview here he wasn't mentioned as an impact freshman and yet it seems he is playing on the first line. Is he generating any special teams time? From descriptions of his speed I can see him on a PK unit.
Tom: From what I have gathered when looking at description of Rodwell's play the word tenacious pops in my head. Is that a fair one word description?
Tom: 'Devils Prototypical Player' is typically a phrase that means a 'forward who understands defensive responsibility'. Is Rodwell an effective player in his own end?
Tom: While his freshman season is surprising he is a bit older (20). Ideally, he has a major impact for ND towards the end of this year and next year. Is this something you can foresee? Too early to tell? Or is he just a solid role player for the Sioux?
Tom: Finally, let me ask about a former Fighting Sioux, Darcy Zajac. Zajac has been assigned to the ECHL Trenton Devils. He never really lit up the scoreboard when he was at North UND. What type of player was the alternate captain during his time at North Dakota?