Next up in the Instant Impact series is Alaska-Anchorage freshman Blake Tatchell.
Joey Benik, SCSU
Blake Tatchell, F, Alaska-Anchorage
Vitals: 5'10" - 162 lbs - 5/23/1991
Hometown: North Battleford, Saskatchewan
Previous Team: Battlefords North Stars (SJHL)
No WCHA team has suffered as many recent unexpected personnel changes as Alaska-Anchorange. Among the losses from a year ago are three of the top four point producers from a team whose point leaders put up just 17 points apiece. To put that into context, every other team in the WCHA had at least five players who registered more than 17 points.
Heading into the 2012-13 season, added offensive punch is certainly at or near the top of head coach Dave Shyiak's wish list, and one newcomer who may be able to provide an infusion of offense into the Seawolf attack is freshman Blake Tatchell.
Tatchell arrives in Anchorage after having spent the past three seasons with the Battlefords North Stars of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. He displayed steady development during his SJHL career, which culminated in last season's 86 point (42G, 44A) effort that saw him earn league MVP honors.
His 86 points (in 57 games) were the second most in the SJHL, and he was named a finalist for the Canadian Junior Hockey League's 2011-12 Player of the Year award, an award that spans all of Canada's Junior A hockey leagues.
According to UAA assistant coach T.J. Jindra, Tatchell is a skilled, smart forward who sees the ice well and possesses a good scoring touch. Tatchell has made a concentrated effort of getting stronger this offseason, and as he adjusts to the speed and physicality of the WCHA, he could be just the player the Seawolves need to lend an offensive spark to their season.