Drew Magyar’s path to Ohio was similar to that of some of his teammates.
Last season, Magyar played for the U18 Ohio Blue Jackets, alongside fellow freshman forward Ryan Higgins. The two joined four former Jackets: goalie Jimmy Thomas and forwards Kyle Craddick, Timmy Thurnau and Gianni Evangelisti.
His journey, however, took a turn toward Shreveport, Louisiana, before steering back to Athens. Magyar was going to take this season and play junior hockey for the Shreveport Mudbugs — but after a week down South, realized he didn’t like it.
“I didn’t really didn’t enjoy it, didn’t really like the town,” he said. “I just kind of realized I want to get my schooling done.”
Coach Sean Hogan called Magyar and found out he was not going to be playing juniors. It was the perfect opportunity for Magyar to play competitive hockey and get his education done at the same time. And that’s what it took to get the Macedonia native to steer his journey away from Louisiana and head toward Athens.
Hogan likes what he’s seen since Magyar got to Ohio.
“Maygar’s got the hands,” Hogan said. “Drew — I think all the new guys — has gotten better everyday.”
He flew down the ice as he received a breakout pass from Gabe Lampron and was alone across the blue line with goalie Jackson Chilberg. He ducked right with the puck, brought it left and slotted it home. It might have been the most impressive goal of the game; his stick skills were outstanding.
“I gave the puck to Gabe, and I just started heading toward the net,” Magyar said. “I got past the (defense) and I knew if he got it back to me, Jackson would be sliding (to the right), so I tried to bring it back the other way. It felt pretty good out there.”
Despite the flashy stick skills that Magyar brought out in the Green and White Scrimmage, that’s not the exactly how he would describe his game. He’s the type of guy to battle for pucks in the corners. He’s seen some ice time, but it hasn’t translated into huge numbers on the stat sheet. He’s racked up three points this year, and he’s scored on the one shot he’s attempted through four games.
“I like going to the corners, battling, being in the hard places,” Magyar said. “Giving (the puck) to the guys in front for them to score.”
What Magyar brings to the Bobcats is what Hogan likes to see. They might both be glad that Magyar decided to ditch Louisiana and head back home to Ohio. He may even say that Athens on a bad day is better than Shreveport on a good day.
“Right now, I think Athens is still topping Shreveport,” he said, looking out at a rainy day from the confines of Bird Arena.