Normally, I would not give so much attention to a single player, because I like a lot of different kinds of players. But growing up, I remember hearing about this great hockey player, who was just a few years older than me, going to my middle school.
Little did I know that he would end up being an All-Star in the NHL years later.
Mike Komisarek comes from a small town on Long Island, a place where very few people even get the opportunity to play in the NHL. If you make it there, you truly deserve it.
I too come from a small town just near his, and I remember seeing him in his Catholic school uniform—which is a funny thought now when I see him finishing a hard check on Malkin.
At 6'4", 245 pounds of pure hockey grit and talent, he stands as one of the most punishing players in hockey. A check is never unfinished and he will always stand up for a teammate. He truly is the definition of an authentic bruiser.
He was chosen seventh overall in 2001 by the Montreal Canadiens. In his short three-year career, he has accumulated 375 penalty minutes, 10 goals, and 36 assists.
The stat that really jumps out at me is his plus/minus, it currently sits at +20 with a +7 this season. He also played in the world junior championships three times between the years of 2000 and 2002, and then the Men's world ice hockey championships in 2006.
I became a diehard Rangers fan in 1994 when Mike was still only 12 and I was going to school with him. That is when I found one of my favorite players of all time that reminds me of Mike, and that is Jeff Beukeboom.
Beukeboomm, like Komisarek, was a big hard-hitting defenseman that shot right-handed. He was not known for his skills with the stick, but the fact that he could change the momentum of a game with one big fight or one big hit.
While their games are similar to one another, I hope their fates are very different. If you do not know, Beukeboom's career ended with a series of concussions, including one massive blow that was a sucker punch from LA Kings forward, Matt Johnson.
No stat sheet can ever tell you why he is such a valuable player, because that's just not the kind of player he is, and that is why I feel he is somewhat underrated.
But any person who is a fan of hockey and follows it closely wishes they had the seventh pick in the 2001 draft, because then he would be in their team's uniform.