Drew Magyar wants to be a mentor.
He appeared in every game last season for the Bobcats as a freshman — an impressive feat since most freshmen are healthy scratches. He totaled four goals and nine assists and established himself as a bright player for Ohio’s future.
After a successful first year, paired with the graduation of a moderately sized senior class, the forward is hopeful that he can step into more of a leadership role as a sophomore.
Being an exemplary leader is a familiar role for him. The Mentor native spent two years playing for the AAA Ohio Blue Jackets in Dublin, where he was named team captain and found himself as a role model for younger teammates.
As team captain, he was brought under the guidance of coach Ed Gingher, who drilled Magyar with how to be an effective leader on and off the ice. That philosophy is what Magyar hopes to pass down to younger Bobcats.
“Being able to have guys look up to me and tell them the way it goes really helps me a lot,” Magyar said.
Magyar has also learned from his older Ohio teammates to continue to improve his game. He met up over the summer with senior teammates Tyler Harkins and Gianni Evangelisti in order to keep his game sharp, and he turned his time with Harkins into a learning experience once the team reassembled in August.
I feed off the top guys I look up to as role models and try to follow in their footsteps,” Magyar said. “I do as much as I can to help them out.”
Magyar skated as much as possible throughout the summer. Once he compounded his regimen onto practice with his teammates, it provided the burst of energy he needed for this season.
Coach Cole Bell’s new practice structure proved effective, too. Practices began as soon as players arrived back to campus, and Bell held nothing back. His drills have kept the Bobcats on their feet and constantly at top speed, and Magyar sees the benefits of the intense practices Bell dishes out.
Magyar wants to have a good start from the first puck drop. He says that pushing himself from the get-go will shake the rust off while they play teams that aren’t in their division. If he excels early on, he hopes to carry it to stronger opponents like Iowa State and Lindenwood.
“Those are the tough games late in the season,” Magyar said. “You’re traveling, everyone is tired, and those are the games that bring you to nationals. Hopefully I can come in and make a big impact during those games.”
Ohio ended last year ranked No. 6 in the ACHA after it was knocked out of the national tournament in the quarterfinals by Iowa State. Magyar wants to do his best to prevent another heartbreaker. He, like many of his teammates, are optimistic about their chances to win a national championship this season, something that Ohio hasn’t done since 2004.
Magyar knows what the upperclassmen are capable of and is seeing what the new recruits can do. He has always kept a positive outlook on hockey, and he never wants to stay negative for long if he makes mistakes.
A light-hearted attitude is always welcome, especially from an established player like Magyar. He exemplifies what the Bobcats need this season — an enthusiastic hard worker who’s self-assigned duty is to help his team however he can. His game and standing on the team has improved, and he wants to put what he’s been given to good use.
“I stay positive no matter what,” Magyar said. “If things are going down, I just try to get a little positivity and keep my mind in the game.”