ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — It’s not too soon to start looking ahead to next season for the IceHogs and some guys who could be key players on the roster. One of them is current rookie center Carson Gicewicz.

Gicewicz joined the IceHogs two and a half weeks ago. He signed an AHL contract that runs through next season. He had just finished up winning an NCAA hockey championship at the University of Massachusetts. He was the team’s leader in goals with 17. It was a quick turnaround from college hockey celebrity on an emotional high to starting over as a professional.

“It’s been pretty hectic winning that championship was an incredible experience,” said Gicewicz. “We did celebrate. We had a great time…but yea a few days after that I got the call. I signed to come to Rockford.”

Gicewicz adjusted quickly. He got his first professional assist in only his second game with the IceHogs. He’s been seeing regular playing time ever since.

“He’s a big, strong body. He’s a good two-way player, center man,” said IceHogs coach Derek King.

“My strengths are I like to think I’m extremely positionally sound. I like going to the dirty areas. I score goals in dirty areas,” said Gicewicz. “That’s something I’ve always done. I like to play a responsible 200-foot game.”

Gicewicz is from Orchard Park, New York a suburb of Buffalo best known as the home of the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo is also the home of Patrick Kane, so naturally Gicewicz is a big fan of Kaner.

“I was a huge Kaner fan. His uh, his cousin actually played on my team growing up. So we had a tournament out in London once, actually it might have been in Detroit but for whatever reason we stopped in London and, yea, Kaner got us all tickets for our team and he signed a bunch of pucks for us, so, I mean, everyone looks up to him in Buffalo.”

Time is running out on this season and no doubt Gicewicz can use a break from the rink, but in the time that’s left he wants to learn and develop his game as much as he can so that he’s ready to roll with the Hogs from day-one next season.

“I’m looking to find out my game at this level, you know, find where I’m going to fit in.”