By Warren Kozireski —
Standing 6”0, 202 lb. University of Michigan senior center Nick Pastujov certainly has the size to transition to professional hockey. With 54 points over 124 collegiate contests, he has shown the scoring ability.
Add in that he led the Wolverines and stood fourth in the Big Ten in faceoff percentage, his skating ability and his desire after playing every game over the past two seasons and the New York Islanders seventh round flyer in 2016 on the Bradenton, Florida native and former U.S. National Team Development Program product may pay dividends.
As of Jan. 23rd, the left shot was tied for third on the Wolverines in points with 12 including six goals and led the team in power play goals with four—many after setting up shop in front or to the side of the opponent’s net.
As of their weekend sweep at Penn State Jan. 17-18, Pastujov was on a streak with three goals over his last five games playing on a line with younger brother Michael.
“I think it is more sticking to the game plan and, over time, if you stick to it things will eventually start falling your way. I gave him one (assisted) and he gave me one so it’s pretty cool; it’s always nice when that happens.”
As for the faceoffs, the senior isn’t giving away any secrets, but learned a few things at the Islanders Development Camp this past summer and the two of the three prior summers.
“This year really just dialing it in more. They’ve always been important as a center, but this year we’ve kind of taken a special edge and we’ve focused really hard on them. And make it your business to bear down every single time and make sure you win.
“This past year (Development Camp) was really cool because I went in after having a couple of good years in college with that confidence of having one more year and knowing that these are the guys that I’m going to play against and fight for a job with.
“I had a pretty good camp and felt good and confident knowing what I had to do going into the year and one of the highlights from camp was faceoffs, so that’s one of the reasons I dialing it in now and done a good job with that.
“As far as next year goes, I think this is one of those times where I really like the team we have here and want to give it my 100% and worry about the rest after the season is over.”