1. Jack Gorniak
With the regular season now in full swing (let’s just ignore the upcoming bye week for the time being), the storylines concerning the Canadiens are multiplying, especially considering the huge pool of prospects this organization possesses. In this weekly column, I plan on covering storylines and tidbits that should be of interest to Habs fans but may not be significant enough for an article on their own.
Jack Gorniak, a 2018 4th-round draft pick, gets overshadowed by another Habs prospect on his team, whose name rhymes with Goal Goalfield. Gorniak is having himself a very impressive bounceback season in the bottom-6 of the Wisconsin Badgers’ forward corps. The 21-year-old has played a simple yet effective brand of hockey and has 5 goals and 11 points to show for his efforts through 20 games.
I’ve watched 5 of Wisconsin’s games this season and not once saw Gorniak make a blunder, again he plays a simple and effective game rather than Caufield’s (and Holloway’s to a lesser extent) highlight-reel goals and assists. At least, that’s what I thought prior to Wisconsin’s game against Minnesota on Saturday night. In that game, Gorniak scored on this solo-rush:
Now, Wisconsin DOMINATED that game, so Minnesota wasn’t the most formidable of opponents, but that goal from the team’s fourth-line centre is quite something. That’s not all, though; Gorniak formed a connection with fellow-Hab Cole Caufield in the third period on a goal, and while Caufield’s finish was perfect, the hustle and diving pass from Gorniak is the true highlight of the play:
While these plays by Jack Gorniak may not be synonymous with elegance and deftness of touch, they perfectly encapsulate Gorniak’s play with the puck in the neutral and offensive zones: he hustles and he gets the job done. The road to the NHL remains a long one for Gorniak, but the progression he has shown this season makes me believe he could become an extremely efficient and responsible fourth-line centre someday.