The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux hockey team comes into 2008-2009 without a few familiar faces.
TJ Oshie left for the NHL. Good for him, the Blues got a future superstar in him. Not only did the Sioux lose Oshie. Jean-Phillippe Lamerioux, the starting goaltender who has multiple Fighting Sioux records, graduated.
Stepping in to replace Lamerioux is senior Aaron Walski. Walski looked good in his very limited playing time last season, and is expected to show off some skills in the net. We'll basically have to sit and wait for the results for ourselves.
Joe Finley (God save us) returned to finish his senior season. You have to love having a guy who's 6'7" 245lbs on your team, but I've seen him whiff on one too many shots to be too excited. He isn't the brightest bulb on the tree, but the guy can hit like a truck. Also, when he does get ahold of the puck you sure hope you're not in the way.
One of my favorite players Chris VandeVelde is back for his junior season. He came out of nowhere in the 2007 playoffs, and hasn't cooled down yet. He seems to be able to shoot that puck wherever he's aiming, and is fairly good at getting in between the defense.
A guy who everyone's looking forward to seeing has a very familiar name: Toews. The brother of former UND standout and now Chicago Blackhawks superstar Jonathan Toews, David Toews may have too much expectations coming for this season. Everyone will have to wait for him to feel at home and find his niche with the team.
Little Evan Trupp is back from injury. You all may remember that amazing overtime goal he made against the Gophers last season. In case any Gopher fans need to remember just search "Evan Trupp" on youtube. I believe it was the game following his amazing midair shot, Trupp broke his leg. The poor little guy looked miserable moving around in the snow in crutches all winter, and I'm sure he's looking to prove he's still got that quick bursts of speed. Trupp being only 5'9" 170lbs according to the Sioux is definitely an overstatement. Whether he's 5'9" or 5'6" doesn't really matter because the boy can play.
The Ralph is ready, Grand Forks is ready, UND is ready. Lets get this season rolling boys! Go Sioux!