ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–A lot of factors have gone into the IceHogs’ recent hot streak that has seen them win five of their last six games. One has been the emergence of rookie center Cole Guttman. He has scored five goals in the team’s last six games.
The season didn’t get off to a great start for Guttman when he suffered a concussion at the start and missed eight games. He has shaken that off and begun to gain his rhythm and his confidence.
“I was really excited coming off an injury at the start of the year,” said Guttman after practice Tuesday morning. I was really excited to get started. Obviously, we’ve got a really good group in there, a lot of skilled players, so I’m lucky enough to play with some skilled players.”
It helps that Guttman has been centering on a line that includes the equally hot Dylan Sikura and also Buddy Robinson. They’ve clicked says Guttman.
“They’re really showing me how it’s done, and it’s been great these first few games.”
“He’s really good on the dot,” said Sikura. “You guys have noticed that. He wins a crazy amount of draws. He’s a big weapon on the PK, and obviously on the PP too, and starting in the O-zone with the puck it’s a huge thing for us.”
Guttman also has five assists to go with his five goals giving him 10 points in 11 games played. His 26.3 shot percentage leads the team. Anders Sorensen says he has been super impressed with Guttman.
“The way he competes and the way he battles for, you know he’s not the biggest guy, but his instincts on both sides of the puck offensively and defensively just, I think he’s really helped this team.”
Yea, Guttman isn’t a big guy. He’s 5’9 about 168 pounds, but he plays big. He did that at the University of Denver the last four years, and he is doing it again.
“It’s a bigger, stronger, faster game at the pro level,” said Guttman, “And as an undersized forward I just want to match that and be as fast as I can and as strong as I can with the puck coming off the wall, taking it to the net.”
Gutman was drafted by Tampa Bay in 2017 before he opted to go to college. He signed with the IceHogs before this season as a free agent. The IceHogs will host the Admirals Wednesday night.