By Matt Mackinder
Eddie Osowski is in Flint to play for the Jr. Generals for two reasons – win and move on to the next level.
Sounds simple enough, right?
Admittedly, the city of Flint is “nothing like back home in New Jersey,” but for Osowski, it doesn’t need to be like his hometown of Montclair, N.J.
“There is a lot more to do back home in terms of malls, the shore and even taking a quick train ride into New York City,” said the 19-year-old Osowski. “In the end, none of that really matters because I'm here to play hockey like the rest of my teammates, so the rink and gym are good enough for me. It has been a lot of fun living away from home and has definitely been a very good experience.”
Two weeks ago, Osowski was named the NA3HL’s 2nd Star of the Week after Flint posted a weekend home sweep of the Three Rivers Vengeance, scoring seven goals in the process. Osowski figured in on five of those seven goals with two goals and three assists.
“There are certain players that find themselves around the puck and Ed is one of those guys,” boasted Jr. Generals’ coach Steve Howard. “He has a sense about where to be and it helps him and his teammates. He is very creative with and without the puck.”
Not too shabby for a player who goes just 5-foot-8 and 145 pounds.
“Being smaller, I have always focused on my skating a little more than other aspects making sure I was shifty and pretty fast,” explained Osowski. “I have also become a rather chippy player and don't take crap from opposing players.”
With 14 points through his first nine games this season, Osowski is on pace to eclipse his 24 goals and 62 points of a year ago. Last spring, Osowski was named to Team East and played in the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament in Frisco, Tex., where he added two more goals and an assist in four games.
“I feel that from my success last year, it has given me even more confidence in my game,” Osowski said. “Also being around some veterans like Warren Carter and Andrew Lay (last year), I learned some leadership qualities that will help me be a leader for this year’s team. My long-term hockey goal is to play competitive college hockey and after that, we will see what happens.
“So far from a personal standpoint, I feel the season has started off in the right direction for me. I'm putting up points like I am expected to, as well as locking down defensively when needed. Now as a team, the season started a little rocky, but we have made some changes and picked up a few players making us a much stronger team.”
And as is the case with most players that come through the doors of Iceland Arena, Osowski is quick to praise the Jr. Generals’ ownership group in the father and son tandem of Gale and Kelly Cronk.
“We are most definitely treated like professionals,” said Osowski. “The Cronks do everything they can to help us get to the next level. A lot is expected of us on and off the ice and with success comes reward.
“My expectations for this season are to finish where we left off last year and with nationals in the picture, now that makes one more goal for us to strive to achieve.”