WNY Hockey Prospects

10 Questions: Michael Ederer

Mike Ederer (Image Courtesy of Dan Hickling)

 

1.  You grew up in Lancaster, NY.  What is your family like and what was it like growing up in Lancaster? When did you start playing hockey? Did you play any other sports growing up?  If so, how do you think those sports helped you as a hockey player.

I grew up with a very supportive family and an older brother that has influenced me a lot. I started playing hockey at age 5 with the Buffalo Regals organization for a few years. When I was young, I played soccer, baseball, lacrosse, and golf, but then eventually stuck to baseball, hockey and golf as I got older. I think it is just good to play other sports when you’re younger just because each sport can work different parts of the body and makes you think in different ways.

 

2.  Where did you play youth hockey in Buffalo before High School?

I began my youth career with the Buffalo Regals from beginners until mites. I then went to play for the West Seneca Wings my squirt minor and major years. I returned to play for the Regals for my Peewees and Bantams years.

 

3.  You played for the nationally recognized Prep Program at Buffalo, NY Nichols School.  How did you come to play for Nichols?  Were you recruited to play there?  Did you have to apply?  Were there tryouts or were you offered a spot on the team?

I was first suggested it by one of my teammate’s parents while playing for the Regals. Coach Printz came to watch me a few times that year and I went to Nichols for a day to shadow and visit. I met with Coach Printz and he was really enthusiastic on getting me to come to school there and play hockey. The year I was going into Nichols was the year that the Nichols Program formed with the Buffalo Saints Midgets and unfortunately I missed the spring tryout to that due to a broken arm. I started off with the Buffalo Saints U16 team in the fall of my freshman year and when the official prep team tryouts came along, Coach Printz gave me a spot on the team, which was a really exciting moment for me.

 

4.  What was life like off the ice at Nichols?  Were the academic expectations the same as the athletic expectations?

Nichols was almost like a college atmosphere. We were given more freedom than public schools give their students, but that was because the academic expectations were high. We had to make sure we took care of our schoolwork before we could go on road trips. Most of the teachers were really understanding with our travel schedule and would let us take tests when we got back or before we left. We had to maintain solid grades in order to play, which wasn’t a major issue for most of us.

 

5.  During your time at Nichols you and teammates (and brothers) R.J. and Carson Gicewicz  committed to play NCAA Division I Hockey at St. Lawrence all around the same time.  Did you three talk about going together or was it a decision that you all reached individually?

RJ was the first one to commit to St. Lawrence and he did so while they began talking to me and watching me play more often. I went for a visit the spring of my sophomore year and loved the small-school atmosphere. They gave me an offer during that visit, and obviously RJ and I were really excited and he wanted me to go there with him. I waited on that and visited a few other schools including big ones and smaller ones. When the fall of my junior year came around I put a lot of thought into it and decided St. Lawrence was a great fit for me. The coaching staff had the most influence on me because they believed I could be a great player there which made me feel more comfortable with the decision. Going to school with one of my best friends is a plus too.

 

6.  After your final season at Nichols you were drafted in the 9th Round, 121st overall by the Indiana Ice in the USHL Entry Draft.   What was it like being drafted?

It was pretty cool to be recognized by one of the top junior leagues out there and drafted by a great program in the league. It didn’t mean much, however, because I still had to go out and earn a spot in order to make the team.

 

7.  Last season you moved on from Nichols and played with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, a very successful Junior A program playing in the OJHL.  I’m sure you had many opportunities after your time at Nichols.  What made you choose the Jr. Sabres as the best option for your hockey career?

The year before I played for them, the Junior Sabres became a stronger program with Coach Peca taking over as head coach. I actually went to play for Coach Peca because I was cut from the Indiana Ice. Coach Peca texted me the day after the Indiana camp telling me that my game would develop very well playing in Buffalo before considering other junior teams. I was also told by a few other people that playing with the Junior Sabres and for Coach Peca would be a great route. I chose to stay at home and I received a good amount of playing time and a lot of guidance from the coaching staff in order to develop my overall game.

 

8.  You played extremely well during your season with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, recording 30 goals & 23 assists for 53 points in 53 games during the regular season.  You followed that up with 6 goals & 5 assists for 11 points in 12 playoff games.  What do you think it was that led to your early success in the OJHL and the big offensive numbers you posted?

I think as the season went on, my compete level increased. After going on a several-game point streak I then went into a slump for a couple of weeks. I started working harder during practice and competing harder and it eventually paid off. I also played with great linemates along the way which also helps a lot. As the season went on, I became more familiar with the junior style of play, which involved a lot less time and space. As a more offensive player, it was important for me to win battles and work hard away from the puck and find those open areas for your teammates to feed you to create scoring opportunities. I became a better player below the opponent’s goal line and began to win more battles which made a huge difference in my game.

 

9.  Your offensive numbers with the Jr. Sabres caught the attention of both the USHL and the BCHL.  The Indiana Ice suspended operations for next season, leading the Youngstown Phantoms to acquire your USHL rights during the Indiana Ice Dispersal Draft yet you ultimately chose to move to Canada and play for the Merritt Centennials of the BCHL.  Can you describe the whole process and what made you decide to go to the BCHL instead of a season with Youngstown in the USHL?

When I found out that the Indiana Ice was going dormant for the next season, I gave my advisor a call to discuss next year and what route I could take. I was really unsure at the time where I would be going. He suggested the BCHL and I started to receive calls from a few teams the week after. I never would have thought I would be going out to British Columbia to play. During May, I wanted to know the team I would be playing for and wanted to make a decision. I received a call from Coach Pierce from the Merritt Centennials and he was really enthusiastic on having me come out to play next year and be one of the team’s goal-scorers. My coaches at St. Lawrence also suggested the BCHL route over the USHL route because they believed it would be a better fit for my style of play. From my advisor and my coaches at St. Lawrence, I’ve only heard great things about the program at Merritt over other programs I was considering.

 

10.  Following next season you will attend St. Lawrence University.  You will be on a roster with WNY’ers Trevor Hills, Woody Hudson & R.J. Gicewicz.  It seems St. Lawrence is building quite the pipeline from the Western New York area.  What do you think it is about players from Buffalo and Rochester that draws scouts to this area?

A lot of people don’t realize that the Western New York area is a hot spot for many good players. It also helps to have nationally recognized programs in the area, such as Nichols, Jr. Sabres, and the Regals organization. The Western New York area is an upcoming area of elite athletes. The competition and talent level varies in each area but scouts hear of upcoming players and start to become interested.

 

Disclaimer: This article was originally posted August of 2014. This article has been posted to Archives due to February 2015 website rebuild.

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