On a team full of young defenders hoping to impress, first year player Alex Roach outshone fellow prospects Peter Kosterman and Jaynen Rissling among others this season. While Roach doesn’t have the greatest offensive capabilities, he has a heavy slapshot and makes an adequate first pass. Roach is able to cover a large amount of ice with his great reach although his skating and mobility could stand improvement.
While these comments don’t paint a picture of someone you’d expect to have an NHL career, Roach’s improvement as the season progressed combined with his fantastic physical attributes (his excellent toughness, size and strength make him very difficult to play against) make him a worthwhile project pick that could one day provide much sought after physical play, grit, toughness, and fighting ability to an NHL team.
EVERYONE was a minus on the Hitmen last year, after losing players like Jones and Kozun to Manchester (as well as Shattock to Peoria, Schultz to Hamilton, Stone to San Antonio, Broda to Houston/Bakersfield) they essentially had a team of 16-17 year-old prospects and 19 year-old not-going-to-be's.
Roach fell into the first category and was part of a defensive core that averaged about 17 years of age. That's a hell of a way to learn, but he really improved throughout the season.
Good to see a signing. I like these kind, a potential diamond in the rough. And by the time he's ready to move up to the pro ranks, the log jam we have at Manchester will be cleared out one way or another.