Yesterday in part 1 of a ‘back to school’ series, I was lucky enough to get short interviews with Hurricanes prospect Matt Filipe’s 2015-16 USHL coach and also a great great site that covers Northeastern University which is where he will be playing in 2016-17.
Part 2 features Max Zimmer whom the Carolina Hurricanes selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NHL draft. Zimmer played for Chicago Steel in the USHL and will join the Wisconsin Badgers in the NCAA ranks for his freshman year in 2016-17.
Comments from Max Zimmer’s USHL coach Dan Muse
Dan Muse is the head coach of the Chicago Steel where he will be entering his second year at the helm. Prior to coaching the Steel, Muse spent 6 seasons at Yale University with the last 2 in an associate head coach role. Yale’s accomplishments while Muse was there include 4 NCAA tourney berths and a 2013 NCAA national title. His full bio can be found on the Chicago Steel web page HERE.
Canes and Coffee: How would you describe Max Zimmer’s game in 2-3 sentences. What are his strengths?
Chicago Steel Coach Dan Muse: Max is an elite skater that plays a high tempo game. He combines his speed, quickness and mobility with a strong skill set, accurate shot, and playmaking ability. He did a great job over the past year at developing his defensive game and game away from the puck.
Canes and Coffee: What areas do you see for improvement as he develops as a player over the next 2-3 years?
Chicago Steel Coach Dan Muse: Like any player going from junior to NCAA, Max will learn to play his fast, skilled offensive game with less time and space when he starts playing at the college level. He made some great strides at improving his defensive game and game away from the puck over the past year, and I am sure he will continue to push himself to keep developing in these areas.
Canes and Coffee: What NHL player(s) would you compare his game to?
Chicago Steel Coach Dan Muse: At the junior level, Max’s skating and speed was at the highest level. Carl Hagelin is a player at the NHL level that Max could watch and learn from.
Canes and Coffee: Do you have any other thoughts/comments on Max Zimmer that are not covered by the questions above?
Chicago Steel Coach Dan Muse: Max has extremely high character and is a great teammate. He is extremely dedicated to the game and to developing into the best possible player he can be. He was a pleasure to coach and have in our organization last year, and he made great strides in his development through hard work and focus.
Comments on Max Zimmer’s situation joining the University of Wisconsin Badgers hockey from Andy Baggot from UWBadgers.com
Andy Baggot is a long-time writer and reporter for University of Wisconsin athletics including hockey. Previously with the Wisconsin State Journal, Andy now covers Wisconsin athletics for UWBadgers.com.
Canes and Coffee: How did Badgers hockey finish up the 2015-16 season? What is the early outlook for the 2016-17 season in terms of roster changes and season expectations?
Andy Baggot from UWBadgers.com: Wisconsin finished 8-19-8 overall, 3-13-14 in the Big Ten Conference in 2015-16. That showing was on the heels of a program-worst 4-26-5 (2-15-3) record in 2014-15. That two-year window is why Mike Eaves was fired as coach after 14 seasons – including a NCAA title in 2006 and a runner-up finish in 2010 – and Tony Granato was hired to replace him.
Canes and Coffee: What do the Badgers look like in terms of returning forwards, and where would you expect Max Zimmer to start the season in terms of role, ice time and general situation?
Andy Baggot at UWBadgers.com: The Badgers are deep at forward, but I expect Max to be in the lineup. He was supposed to play another year of juniors, but the feedback Granato and his staff got on Max was he was ready for the college game now. I’d be surprised if Max showed up in the top six or on the power play, but it’s too early to know a lot until this staff shows some of their cards.
Canes and Coffee: What things are you hearing about Max Zimmer ability before his arrival in Madison?
Andy Baggot at UWBadgers.com: As I wrote, the previous coaching staff had Max ticketed for another season in the junior ranks. The feedback Granato and his assistants received was that Zimmer could help the Badgers now.
A huge thank you to Coach Dan Muse and Andy Baggot from UWBadgers.com for helping provide coverage on Hurricanes prospect Max Zimmer!