By Warren Kozireski
Rochester second year forward Andrew Oglivie left Notre Dame a year before his college hockey eligibility was up to sign a two-year contract with Buffalo to pursue his professional hockey career.
His first season in Rochester went far from planned as he first missed six games in October, did not play all of December, January and half of February and then missed the final 11 games of the regular season due to concussion issues.
But fast forward to the 2019-20 campaign and the Fullerton, California native is making up for lost time with two goals and two assists over the first seven games.
“I think Andrew is a really good player, he sees the ice well, has a really good shot and he’s fast as well so I think we mesh well with some speed and we think the game similar so I think we’re going to have some good chemistry,” C.J. Smith said about his occasional linemate.
“He’s really good at getting to those open areas and getting lost out there and I just need to find him and I know he’ll make a good play with the puck.”
“He’s got great defensive habits—he was well-coached back in university,” Rochester interim head coach Gord Dineen said. “Those are always there and he’s got very good offensive ability too and he’s starting to really be confident in those areas.”
“It’s good to be playing again and good to be contributing on a positive way,” Oglivie said after a recent game. “I was in Buffalo all summer with the full training staff.
“It (sitting out so many games last season) was tough, and it was my first year of pro too, so it was kind of tough to cope with everything and hard not being around the guys a lot as well, but my roommates helped me out and my teammates were great. But I leaned on them pretty hard though.”
Oglivie played his entire major junior career with Cedar Raids in the USHL before heading to Notre Dame where he scored 36 goals with 44 assists over the final two collegiate seasons while helping leaf the Fighting Irish to a pair of Frozen Four berths.
The 5’10”, 180 lb. right shot forward will turn 25 years old this coming February and knows that this is the season he needs to show his ability as he is in the final season of the two-year free agent contract he signed a year and a half ago.
“Things didn’t go my way last year, but so far this season things are going my way so I’m excited. After having a year like that it’s nice for them (the coaching staff) to use me right away and let me show them what I can do even though I didn’t play a whole lot last year.”
Oglivie had options when he decided to leave college early, but chose the Buffalo organization.
“I thought the opportunity here and what I heard about the coaching staffs here and Rochester being a really good place to play if you’re developing, so I heard a lot of really good things about this place and thought the opportunity here was the best.”