Don Lucia’s prized recruit for this class is 6-foot-3 forward Seth Ambroz. Originally slated to play for the Gophers this fall, Ambroz was asked to stay in the United States Hockey League for one more season before becoming a Gopher.
Ambroz played for New Prague High School for one season before opting to hone his skills in the USHL. Ambroz has been playing for the Omaha Lancers since 2008. In his first season with the team he had 14 goals and 17 assists in 60 games.
Last season, he improved greatly with 22 goals and 27 assists for 49 points in the regular season. When Ambroz arrives on campus next year he will have the ability and drive to make an instant impact for the Gophers.
Strengths: Ambroz’s most obvious strength is his great size for his age. At 17 he already stands 6-3 and weighs 205 pounds. Ambroz has been building up his strength and physicality in his three seasons in the USHL.
He is already known for his tenacity and quickness to drop the gloves earning him an impressive 118 penalty minutes last season. The Gophers have been lacking a “tough-guy” presence for a few seasons now and could use the hard-nosed style of Ambroz.
With two full seasons of the USHL under his belt, Ambroz has certainly grown as a player. This extensive time in the USHL will give Ambroz an advantage over many of his peers who will enter the college ranks straight out of high school or with only one year of Junior hockey. While playing in the USHL, Ambroz has showcased a skill set that has made pro scouts drool.
He is a player who has great hands for his size and an even more impressive shot. He can put the puck away in traffic or on the break. Ambroz is also an efficient passer, tallying more assists than goals in both full seasons with the Lancers. He is a hardworking kid with great size and skills that will be able to make an instant and profound impact for the Gophers next season.
Weakness: The fact that Ambroz will most likely be a high pick in this year’s NHL draft shows that he has very little weakness in his overall game. However, this lack of weakness may result in Ambroz only playing for the Gophers for a year before he departs for the NHL.
Gopher fans can only hope that Ambroz and the team that drafts him want him to stay in college for more than a season. If Ambroz does in fact remain in Minnesota for two or more season, he could easily become one of the top players in the WCHA.