Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Where Are They Now? Nathan Oystrick

Wolves Goaltender Fred Brathwaite, Nathan Oystrick, and Darren Haydar

"Oystrick with a shot from the point... SCORE!"
Words that any NMU fan has heard and enjoyed for years, and the Atlanta Thrashers organization is getting familiar with them. As a rookie with the Chicago Wolves (AHL affiliate for Atlanta), Nathan started his season struggling but quickly adjusted to the higher speed professional game. While at the preseason training camps, Nathan was unable to give a full effort due to his recovery from mononucleosis. The first few games he played for the Wolves exposed weaknesses that NMU fans would easily call "Freshman Mistakes."

Two weeks into the season Nathan was getting back into shape and feeling more comfortable earning his first point of the season, and second professionally, while on the road in San Antonio. Two days later while on the same road trip, Nathan would score his first professional goal. The power play tally from the point was nothing new to NMU fans. The next game Nathan followed up his offensive touch by scoring two goals at home against the Manitoba Moose.

Wolves Boris Vlabik, Nathan Oystrick, and Joey Crabb
Earning plenty of ice time including power play and penalty kill time, Oystrick is developing into a solid defenseman for the Wolves and a great draft by the Atlanta organization. As of 2/13/07, he is currently +17 for the season in 56 games played with only 79 minutes of penalties. Along with the solid defensive play, Nathan has continued being a scoring threat with 11 goals and 28 assists for 39 points and currently holds the top spot in scoring for defensemen, and is 10th in scoring for all rookie skaters in the AHL. Having a roommate like leading scorer and rookie Brett Sterling (Colorado College), and line-mates of Jason Krog (Univ. of New Hampshire) and Darren Haydar (Univ. of New Hampshire) also help bring the numbers up.

Nathan and the Wolves returned home to play last night for the first time in their last 11 games. The long road trip that bookended the AHL All-Star game included two games in Toronto where Wolves players got to experience the Hockey Hall of Fame. After a few days rest, the Wolves will head back out onto the road for a three game trip, before they spend most of the month of March at home.

In the most recent game, Nathan had one assist and was +1 on the night to help the Wolves win 6-2. Nathan played a solid game of defense all night but was overshadowed by the few mistakes his defensive partner Braydon Coburn kept making.

Wolves schedule and internet radio broadcast is available at ChicagoWolves.com

Photos of Nathan Oystrick from Wolfkeeper.org.

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