Tuesday, October 2, 2012

WCHA Instant Impact: Jujhar Khaira (MTU)

The final set of Instant Impact features starts with Michigan Tech freshman Jujhar Khaira.

Previous Entries:
Joey Benik, SCSU                               Austin Farley, UMD
Blake Tatchell, UAA                             Adam Wilcox, UM                   
Hunter Fejes, CC
Nic Kerdiles, UW
Anthony Stolarz, UNO
Teddy Blueger, MSU

Jujhar Khaira, F, Michigan Tech
Vitals: 6' 3" - 195 lbs - 8/13/1994
Hometown: Surrey, British Columbia
Previous Team: Prince George Spruce Kings (BCHL)
The Michigan Tech Huskies experienced a marked improvement last season under first-year head coach Mel Pearson. After having won just eight WCHA games in the three seasons prior to his arrival, Tech posted 11 conference wins and battled for playoff home ice in Pearson’s debut season behind the bench. A solid cast of returning players and a promising group of freshmen will look to build on that success this season.

The Huskies enter 2012-13 having lost last year’s number one goaltender Josh Robinson to graduation, but an experienced senior (Kevin Genoe, 49 career starts) and a pair of freshmen (Pheonix Copley, Jamie Phillips) form a trio of netminders that should be able to provide a certain measure of stability in net. Helping to solidify Tech’s backend will be a veteran group of defensemen that returns virtually intact from a season ago.

David Johnstone, Blake Pietila, and Ryan Furne lead a young and talented Husky group upfront, but graduation claimed three of their top six forward scorers from a year ago, including team leader Brett Olson. While the continued development of last season’s underclassmen will help to offset these losses, contributions from another solid recruiting class could put Michigan Tech right back into the thick of the WCHA race for playoff home ice. One freshman who could provide such a contribution is promising forward Jujhar Khaira (Juh-JAR CARE-ah).

Khaira makes his way to Houghton after spending the previous two seasons with the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings. He enjoyed a successful rookie campaign in 2010-11 when he finished second on the Spruce Kings with 42 points (10G, 32A) in 58 games, an effort he would eventually trump with a breakout 2011-12 season. 

Last year Khaira nearly tripled his goal scoring total while producing 79 points (29G, 50A) in 54 games, a point total that was second-best on the Spruce Kings. He also played on the gold medal-winning Canada West team at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, he was the only BCHL player to be invited to the 2012 NHL Scouting Combine, and this past June he became a 3rd Round draft pick (63rd Overall) of the Edmonton Oilers.

With his big frame, good hands/vision, superb offensive instincts, and penchant for physical play, Khaira possesses a combination platter of traits that have led many to project him as a prototypical skilled power forward. He has a strong work ethic and a good understanding of the areas that he needs to improve on, and expect the Surrey, BC native to be an immediate difference maker for Michigan Tech as he continues to round out his game.

No comments:

Post a Comment