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Growth key in unlocking Entwistle’s vibrant future | TheAHL.com

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by Travis Corridor | AHL On The BeatThe previous week has been one which MacKenzie Entwistle will always remember.The rookie netted his first skilled aim and was named first star of the sport on Oct. 30 after his multi-point effort helped the Rockford IceHogs down their divisional foe, the San Antonio Rampage.In typical MacKenzie Entwistle style, although, his sentiment was that of appreciation for all those that helped him obtain the milestone.“It’s clearly the results of a number of laborious work and dedication not solely from me however from lots of people: my teammates, my coaches, my dad and mom and my household,” he mentioned. “It was particular to get that one.”And it didn’t take the 20-year-old lengthy to once more etch his identify on the scoresheet, as he discovered twine on Nov. three in opposition to the Chicago Wolves for his second marker in three video games.Entwistle credit the current success to an ongoing progress in his confidence.“Clearly it’s an enormous soar from juniors; you’re enjoying with larger and stronger guys and everybody is admittedly good at this stage,” he mentioned. “When you type of get used to the sport and notice you don’t have three or 4 seconds with the puck and that you simply’re down to at least one or half a second — I’m beginning to notice that and implement that in my sport. I’m feeling a bit of stronger and extra assured and comfy on the market.”Entwistle factors to his fellow members of the IceHogs as serving to usher him into the skilled ranks and serving to him put up 4 factors in eight video games since his debut in October.“Kinger (head coach Derek King) has been actually good, after which Highsy (Matthew Highmore), Steeger (Kris Versteeg) and Tyler Sikura have helped me and guided me by means of the primary couple video games right here,” Entwistle mentioned. “If there’s something I want, they’re there. Simply engaged on some video and seeing what issues I can enhance on the ice and even off the ice, so that they’ve been superior in serving to me enhance as a participant.”Versteeg, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, heard about Entwistle’s feedback and offered his personal tackle simply how a lot he thinks the Mississauga, Ontario, native is able to.“He’s an amazing participant,” Versteeg mentioned. “He’s sensible, he’s lanky, he competes and he’s a participant that, if he can work out a pair issues, may play within the NHL. So, I believe he’s a man that’s positively on the rise, and he desires to be actually good, which is thrilling.”Photograph: Todd ReicherHead coach King shared an analogous sentiment when praising Entwistle, particularly within the rookie’s capacity to exude maturity each on the ice and within the locker room.“Off the ice, he’s received that management high quality and he’s a personality child,” King mentioned. “Sooner or later, I believe he’s a man that may put on a letter whether or not it’s within the AHL or NHL. He’s an amazing child who’s all the time motivated to get higher. On the ice, he’s received nice fingers and his hockey sense is off the charts. We’ve been actual pleased with him as a result of he does every part proper. He doesn’t complain about issues and he’s a pleasure to teach.”What makes Entwistle’s management this season that rather more compelling is that he offered it throughout an inauspicious begin to the marketing campaign. The IceHogs confronted their justifiable share of adversity early on, dropping 5 of their first seven video games, together with back-to-back blowout losses to the Cleveland Monsters on Oct. 25 and 26. Since then, although, the membership has received three straight and is trying to enhance even additional.Entwistle mirrored on the struggles the group confronted and the way they had been capable of flip the tide by sticking collectively. The previous back-to-back Ontario Hockey League champion additionally famous the work is much from over of their pursuit of the AHL’s final prize.“It’s hockey and generally you’re going to have some stinkers. You’re going to have good weekends, you’re going to have dangerous weekends, you’re going to have good video games and never so good video games,” Entwistle mentioned. “I believe we’re one of many youngest groups within the AHL, so coming in collectively was an enormous soar for many of us. Now we’re getting used to one another and turning into extra snug.“The most important factor is that we had a chat within the room and we had been all saying the identical factor. Guys like Steeger and Tyler, who’ve been across the league and know what it takes to win, had been actually vocal and helped us younger guys out. I believe we’re over that hump and we’re simply wanting ahead to placing extra wins collectively.”As for the following step — reaching the following stage in his profession with the Chicago Blackhawks — the 2017 third-round draft alternative pressured persistence as his mantra for persevering with his journey.“I do know I’ve received some work to do,” Entwistle admitted. “Each man right here desires to make the NHL and everybody is sweet sufficient to try this, it’s only a matter of what they need and what they want. For me, there’s no rush. I’ve to develop a bit of extra and make my sport extra full and be a bit of extra snug enjoying at this professional stage. However, I believe over time that may come. It might not be tomorrow or the following day, however over time that’s my essential aim.”King, nonetheless, has no doubts that it’s solely a matter of time for Entwistle.“He’s received every part you need in case you’re an NHL group a participant. He’ll most likely let you know he has to work on his skating a bit of bit like most large guys, however he simply has to hone every part. He’ll play on the NHL sooner or later.”

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