Austin Poganski

Darren Walker

After starting the season poorly, there were questions about Poganski’s skill and consistency. He put doubters to shame with a strong late-season surge. Poganski plays an effective north-south game and generates impressive speed coming down the wing with the puck. He doesn’t have the greatest first step, but he eventually picks up effective speed and combines his skating with his size to take the puck deep. He is a strong player on the puck and he protects it efficiently from pressure. He has decent stick skills, but prefers to use his body to shield the puck as he searches for lanes to use to either break toward the net or set up a teammate with a crisp, solid pass. He sees the ice well and is able to create chances for his teammates from within the offensive zone. Poganski likes to find lanes to the net, and will use his speed and strength to earn his way to the goal.He does a good job earning his space in the slot with his strength and getting his stick on shots to change their direction before they hit the goalie. He has strong hand-eye coordination and the ability to score around the net. Poganski is effective when he gets involved physically, but there can be more consistency in his hitting game and physical game. Poganski’s defensive game is developing, but he does do a good job getting in lanes defensively and using his stick to pressure the point and steal options. (May 2014)