Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Lewicki sets sights on college opportunity

By Matt Mackinder
USA Junior Hockey Magazine

Texarkana Bandits coach-GM Jon Cooper says that Aaron Lewicki is tailor-made for the college game. All he needs is a school to make an offer.

“Aaron is an excellent skater and has an innate ability to score from anywhere,” Cooper said. “He’s a gifted goal-scorer and has that ‘puck luck.’”

Lewicki is in his second year with the Bandits, a year the 18-year-old hopes is his last in the NAHL.

“I’ve always wanted to play college hockey,” said Lewicki. “I’ve been in contact with a couple schools, but no offers yet. I’d like to play somewhere in the CCHA and stay close to home (Livonia, Mich.), but hopefully we can have something squared away by midseason.”

Cooper said that along with his potent offensive instincts, Lewicki also has an intangible quality that can’t be taught at practice.

“Aaron’s a pretty big kid (6-foot, 200 pounds) and he uses that size to his advantage,” noted Cooper. “He also had great speed and because he has that, he’s able to get to pucks others might not get to. When we had our weight testing before the season, Aaron benched 300 pounds, so you know he’s pretty well put together.”

As for making the jump to the NCAA ranks, Lewicki isn’t that far away. Cooper observed many positive improvements Lewicki has made from a year ago.

“If I were to run a tape of Aaron Lewicki last year and Aaron Lewicki this year, it would be night and day,” Cooper said. “And he knows what he still needs to work on to play college hockey. His play in his own end needs a little bit of work, but I think most kids coming out of midgets and high school need work on that (Lewicki played Major Midgets for HoneyBaked in 2003-04 before coming to Texarkana).”

“I still need to work on pretty much everything as everyone pretty much does,” Lewicki said. “I think I’ve improved on my defensive zone coverage and knowing what’s going on and seeing the ice. But there’s always something to work on.”

Not to look too far ahead, Lewicki said a scholarship and Gold Cup national title are his immediate goals to make this year a successful one.

“He’ll get some offers soon,” said Cooper.

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