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Weissbach Making People Notice With Hot Start In Rochester


By Warren Kozireski —

You can be forgiven if the only rookies you noticed last season in Rochester were American Hockey league All-Rookie Team selections Jack Quinn and JJ Peterka.

Quietly tied for seventh in scoring with 16 goals and 37 points on an Amerks team that advanced to the American Hockey League North Division final was rookie Linus Weissbach.

This season, the 5’9”, 177 lb. forward stood third on the squad through the first 11 games with 11 points and led the team with six goals.

“A bigger role, to start with and then it’s about taking advantage of the time you get on the ice and just all-around play that I can bring to the team,” Weissbach said.

“I try to take a step every year and obviously you want to get better all the time, so I think that’s been my focus. I do try to take the puck there (to the net) more maybe, but obviously that’s where most of the goals are scored and I want to try to get that more into my game, be more of a shooter and going there is going to help with that for sure.”

“Linus had a really good rookie year; the growth he showed in his game away from the puck—how hard he backchecked and how hard he hunted puck and forechecked,” Rochester head coach Seth Appert said.

“He’s doubled down on his work this offseason and so far, this fall. His daily habits are impeccable—he’s on the of first guys in the shooting room, his practices are excellent, he’s staying on the puck more…he’s cutting people’s hands up. Everybody has to be physically engaged…and Linus just cuts the guy’s hands up, take inside position and take the puck.

“He’s doing those things and when he has the puck, he’s very talented. He’s getting to harder areas and he’s getting rewarded.”

A seventh-round selection by Buffalo in 2017 in his second year of eligibility, Weissbach didn’t choose the same route that many players from Sweden follow—playing against men at home and then being largely evaluated by how they perform during international tournaments against their peers.

“I just felt I was too young to sign a pro contract at the age of 17 which is the natural step in Sweden and I just saw too many players, even high draft picks, just not get the chance. I didn’t want to put myself in a spot where I wasn’t playing or getting loaned out and I figured I’m a guy who likes new experiences and creating new relationships.

“And after my first year in the USHL I decided to take the college route and it was easily the best decision I made. And I try to tell people back home that they would be dumb not to unless you’re Rasmus Dahlin or a first overall pick like that where you will play in the NHL right away.”

Winger Victor Olofsson was the last Buffalo seventh-round draft pick to play at least 100 career NHL games and before that it was forward Paul Gaustad in 2000. Weissbach is readying himself to be the next.

“You want to contribute any way you can. If it’s scoring goals or blocking shots or just going on the forecheck, everyone contributes to the team and, if I can do that here, hopefully someone takes notice and I can help up in Buffalo.

“You want to make you’re ready whenever the call comes and make sure you’re on top of your game so you can make a good impression.

“I usually tell myself I was actually a 14th rounder because I didn’t get picked my first year (of draft eligibility). It’s just a numbers game after the first couple of years…wherever I am I just want to be the best player I can be and take the next step; I think that’s what been driving me so far.”

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