Whether he's facing a 3-on-2 rush or figuring out a mathematical equation, Scott Kishel loves to work the numbers.
The defenseman was a math major at Minnesota-Duluth, which you might not think has a lot to do with hockey. He believes being analytical helps him take the emotion out of his hockey and allows him to play better as a defenseman.
``I don't want to say I'm always over-thinking things, but I guess you could say I look at it as taking different approaches to problem solving,'' Kishel said. ``Whether taking a puck to the net or figuring out what forwards like to do, I like to think of myself as a smarter player, like when it comes to taking rushes against forwards, thinking about where they are on the ice and what their options could be. It's a lot to think about in a short period of time, but that's what buzzes through my mind.''
Kishel has had a strong training camp with the Komets so far, moving the puck with ease and handling forwards in front of the net despite his smaller 5-foot-11, 170-pound frame. He's been one of the most consistent defensemen during the afternoon scrimmages.
``Scott is a very mobile skater who transitions very good from forward to backward to forward and turns with players very well,'' Komets coach Al Sims said. ``The only thing Scott doesn't have is size, but he's very smooth with the puck, a good passer, and may be one of the best passers in camp. He's very good defensively as well.''
Kishel could also play the numbers game in figuring out the Komets might have some defenseman spots available. He could end up being a replacement for the retired Frankie DeAngelis. Though the two have never met, they play very similar styles.
``I had a couple of teams in the CHL contact me and a couple of ECHL teams from out west,'' Kishel said. ``It wasn't really all about location or anything. I wanted to hear what the coaches had to say about how they treat players and how they run the team. The other teams who contacted me were via email, and coach Sims took the time to call me on the phone. I appreciated that a lot. It wasn't just a message via Internet saying they were interested.''
Kishel approaches the games in the same analytical way. He always has his head up, looking ahead to see what's available before he gets the puck. His calm might be his major skill.
``It's just a trait that I've played with all my career,'' he said. ``Never get too high or too low during the game, but just stay humble and just be relaxed with the puck. Everybody is watching but it's not that big of a deal to just make the simple plays. That's what I've done my whole career.''
Icing the puck
Cory Schneider, Kyle Atkins, J.P. Chabot, Cory Park and Eric Giosa scored during Thursday's scrimmage... Schneider is the only player to go undefeated in the five scrimmages the Komets played this week... Stephon Thorne and Matt Atsoff fought... Defenseman. Daniel Maggio is already in town after being released by Chicago fo the AHL, and and forwards Brandon Marino and J.M. Rizk were expected to take their physicals this morning after being released by Norfolk on Thursday... The Admirdals are also sending Ryan Hegarty to the Komets. He's a 6-foot, 200-pound rookie defenseman who played college hockey at Maine.