Well-rounded game key for emergence of Monarchs’ Bodnarchuk


Hockey can be a game that takes a lifetime to master. And defenseman often have a much longer path to becoming full-time NHL players than their counterparts at forward – just ask former Los Angeles King Rob Scuderi. A New York native, Scuderi didn’t become a regular NHLer until he was 27 years old.

You never know, it all just comes together at some point.

Now in his sixth professional season, Monarchs defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk appears to have heard that proverbial click go off in his head.

A fifth-round pick by the Boston at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Bodnarchuk played for three seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads before turning professional with the Providence Bruins. After four seasons of professional hockey in the AHL, including a five game stint in the NHL, Boston decided not to re-sign the defenseman.

Once a free agent, Dean Lombardi signed the Alberta native in July of 2012.

Bodnarchuk went on to play well enough with the Monarchs last season to earn a two-year extension from the Kings’ GM over the summer. Then, heading into this season, the Moosehead alum would be looked at to help stabilize a Manchester defense that had three rookies on the opening day roster.

To date, Bodnarchuk has not only met expectations placed upon him, but he’s exceeded in many areas.

The biggest improvement in his game has come in the offensive zone. Bodnarchuk set a career high as a pro with 20 points last season. Through 38 games thus far this year, he’s recorded 18 points – including five goals, which ties his career high.

Bodnarchuk reads the plays extremely well in the offensive zone. He makes smart, calculated pinches, carries the puck at the right times, and runs the point for the Monarchs power play – where he boasts a heavy slap shot. As discussed by coach Mark Morris at the beginning of the year, Manchester lacked offensive-defenseman after David Kolomatis left in free agency and Nick Deslauriers was moved to forward. Bodnarchuk has helped fill the void and successfully contributed offensively all season.

“I think over my career, I’ve prided myself on my defensive game before my offensive game and I’ve always taken pride in more of a shutdown role,” he said. “But as you grow as a player, the offensive side comes with experience and knowing when to jump in to the play, or when to shoot the puck, or seeing plays develop and I think this year that’s definitely something that I’m seeing a lot more.”

Though some players may sacrifice aspects of their defensive game to score more points, this isn’t the case with Bodnarchuk. While he’s nearly matched his point totals in under half the games played, he’s also been a member of the most consistent defensive pairing, typically playing alongside Vincent LoVerde.

In the defensive zone, Bodnarchuk relies on superior positioning to shut down opposing teams. On top of this, the former Bruin brings a physical presence to his game. LoVerde and Bodnarchuk have been successful all year in limiting quality opportunities, particularly those coming from the slot, making life easier for Martin Jones and JF Berube in goal. In fact, his defensive efforts have been so strong that he now sits atop the AHL with a +25 rating.

While Bodnarchuk may find himself caught in a logjam of quality defenders throughout the entire Kings organization, he’s done everything and more to stand out amongst the crowd.

3 MUST-READ ARTICLES:

With deck stacked on D, Bodnarchuk could be the Kings’ wild card

Tanner Pearson called up, postgame chat from Manchester

Martin Jones talks first NHL call-up with MayorsManor

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please include a link to www.MayorsManor.com

Recent Articles

FREE REPLAY: Hoven Talks Kings Roster Rumors and Pacific Playoff Picture

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of this week’s 2 Man Advantage on NHL Network Radio, where John Hoven joined host Jonathan Davis to discuss a myriad of Pacific Division topics, including – upcoming Kings roster moves, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick, Adrian Kempe, Paul LaDue, troubles with the Anaheim Ducks, a possible coaching replacement from the […]

FREE REPLAY: Tonge Talks Kings-Canucks Trade, Nic Dowd on TSN Radio

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of Andy Tonge on TSN 1040, where he broke down the Kings-Canucks trade – including a detailed look at Nic Dowd.
The segment can be heard using the player below or download any of our audio files for free on the MayorsManor iTunes page located here.

FREE REPLAY: Hoven Talks Doughty Contract, Blake as GM, and Quick’s Workload on NHL Radio

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of this week’s 2 Man Advantage on NHL Network Radio, where John Hoven joined host Jonathan Davis to talk about Drew Doughty’s contract situation, Rob Blake as the LA Kings General Manager, Jonathan Quick’s workload this season, the return of Marian Gaborik, Adrian Kempe, the Vegas Golden Knights, and more.
The […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings: Top Two Players Revealed

The wait is over; it's time to reveal the top two players on our 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings. Which player has earned the coveted No. 1 spot? As we finish off this multi-part series, we'll begin with a thank you … [Read More...]

More Prospect News

Trackbacks

  1. […] to play in the game due to injury was the team’s top scoring defenseman, Andrew Bodnarchuk. With no healthy defenseman available to fill in for him, Nick Deslauriers shifted back to his old […]

  2. […] Well-rounded game key for emergence of Monarchs’ Bodnarchuk […]