Tag Archives: Dorian Dawson

Knights Roster Breakdown I: Knights Veterans Ready to Lead the Way

Part one of two looks at the veterans coming back to Knights training camp

In their second year in the NAHL, the Knights took significant steps forward toward establishing themselves in one of the best junior leagues in the United States. Moving ahead to year three, Knights head coach Tom Kowal is making no bones about his program’s end goal for the upcoming season.

“We’re in our third year now,” he said. “Our goal isn’t just to make the playoffs. Our goal isn’t to get through round one or round two of the playoffs. Our goal is to win a Robertson Cup. Anything short of that, we’re not envisioning it right now.”

To make a run at a title at any level of any sport, experience and leadership are necessary. Bolstering the Knights chances is a strong nucleus of returning veterans.

“They’re the ones that set the tone, they set the bench mark; it’s their job right now,” Kowal said. “I told them veterans have to be veterans. They’re not rookies any more. They’re the ones that have to lead the charge. I’m pretty happy with the way they look right now.”

Returning to training camp are forwards Matt Kidney, Mike Gelatt, Curtis Carlson, Mike Morrissey, Reed Robinson, Mike Gelatt, Andrew Jackson and Adrian Danchenko.

“I think there’s a lot of speed up front,” said assistant coach Andrew Whiteside. “We have a strong, returning group of forwards there.”

Matt Kidney was the Knights first round draft pick in 2016 and lived up to high expectations. The righty forward led the team in points, with 20 goals and 24 assists in 45 games.

“I think it’s the same as last year but I have more experience now,” said Kidney of his role this year at main camp. “I just need to get in touch with younger guys and be a positive influence in our locker room.”

Fellow Middletown, NJ native Mike Gelatt spent many games on a line with Kidney, and looks to build off a solid season in which he tallied 12 goals and 25 helpers in 49 games.

Curtis Carlson was one of the Knights strongest performers down the stretch of the 2016-17 season. He wowed at Knights Main Camp, flashing his trademark speed on his way to generating a high volume of offensive chances. As a veteran with experience in the NAHL dating back to the 2015-16 season, Carlson is in line to be an even bigger contributor this season.

“I hope to play more of a leadership role in the locker room,” Carlson said. “That being said, I don’t need a letter on my chest, just more of a guy to look up to, and if someone has problems they can come to me. I’m looking for guys on my team, for guys that are particularly good in the locker room. That’s the first part, you want good character. Then of course you want skilled guys, but guys that can play a role. You never know where you’re going to end up in the lineup. One night you can be on the first line, the next night you can be on the fourth. You just need to be consistent in your role.”

Carlson is one of the veterans buying into the potential he’s seen from the group competing for to make the roster.
“I want us to go to the Robbie this year,” he said. “Of course, that’s every team’s goal, but I’m a firm believer in that it starts in the first game of the year. You have to set the tempo there and then take it one game at a time. If you’re doing that, you’re doing it right and playing consistently, you’re going to make your way up there.”

The gritty Mike Morrissey is among the Knights organization’s most-tenured players and, like Carlson, stood out at main camp as one of its leaders. Last year he regularly drew opponents’ most-skilled forwards, some that are now playing division one hockey. His role moving in his second year at the NAHL is expected to grow.

Reed Robinson played his most productive hockey down the stretch of the 2016-17 season, scoring four goals and seven assists in his final 13 games. The gifted power forward has a knack for penalty-killing, and with his speed, was a consistent source of shorthanded scoring chances.

“I think we’re really fast, there’s a lot of work ethic out there,” said Robinson after main camp. “I think the biggest thing is going to be consistency. If we’re consistent we have the ability to be a really good team. You definitely have to take on a little bit of a leadership role. There’s a lot of new guys so you have to get them to loosen up, to play their games.”

Rounding out the returners to training camp are Andrew Jackson and Adrian Danchenko. The duo combined to play 94 games last season. The pair have size and speed that can’t be coached and showed versatility in filling multiple roles throughout the lineup over their past two years in the NAHL.

Familiar faces returning on the blue line are veterans Markuss Komuls, Paul Cimilluca and Joey Verkerke.

Komuls is a solid puck-mover who made a strong transition from tier-III to tier-II with the Knights last season. The Latvian’s ability to skate the puck and dictate possession in the offensive zone placed him second in scoring among Knights defenders last year.

A second-round pick in last year’s NAHL entry draft, Paul Cimilluca will look to take the next step this season. The right-handed defenseman developed a solid two-way game, eating a lot of minutes in his first junior season. He brings both size and strength with his game and showed off a powerful shot in camp.

“I’ve just been working out, trying to get stronger in the gym,” he said of his offseason goals. “On the ice, I’ve been working on my skating, trying to get faster and quicker, and just working on handling the puck better so I can make more plays.”

Now a seasoned junior hockey player, Cimilluca is eager to share lessons he’s learned.

“My advice to the guys here has been to just to go out and play your game, do what you do best, don’t try and do something you’re not used to doing,” he said. “If you’re a goal-scorer, go out and put a few in the net, if you’re a grinder, go out and make a few plays and do what comes naturally to you and what you’re comfortable with. It’s a trial for everyone, we’re all trying to make this team.”

Joey Verkerke joined the Knights roster after the start of the season last year and represented himself well in his junior hockey action. The Michigan-native had a busy offseason, playing in a summer league with names like Detroit Red Wings star Dylan Larkin. The agile defenseman will look to complement a Knights blue line that’s been bolstered by bigger bodies this offseason.

USHL
Two Knights veterans are currently pushing for USHL spots after being selected in this year’s USHL Entry Draft. Should either be released from their USHL teams, the Knights retain their rights and thus can add them back to their NAHL roster.

Paul Maust has been a mainstay in the Knights NAHL lineup for the past two years. Even after joining the team following the first month of last season, Maust still finished second on the roster with 43 points. He was selected 75th overall by the Green Bay Gamblers in the 2017 USHL Entry Draft. At Knights main camp, he helped introduce rookies to grind of playing against junior hockey players.

“As an older guy, you just have to keep the locker room loose, make sure they’re not too nervous-just go out there and have some fun,” Maust emphasized. “I mean the biggest thing for me is don’t get outside your game, do what you’re good at. I think I saw a group that’s going to be able to go on some streaks and sweep consecutive opponents.”

Dorian Dawson has spent the past two seasons ascending to the top spot on the Knights blue line. The Canadian import was deployed in all situations last season, using his size and speed to overwhelm opponents up and down the ice. He was rewarded for his 9-25-34 line and steady defense by being taken in the 7th round of the draft by the Fargo Force.

The Knights report to training camp at the beginning of September and will open their season against the New Jersey Titans at the Revolution Ice Centre at 7:30 pm on Friday, September 15th. Tickets can be pre-ordered by calling (570)-883-1100.

Paul Maust, Dorian Dawson Selected in Phase II of the USHL Draft

With a combined 231 games played for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the past two years, Dorian Dawson and Paul Maust have been key contributors to the Knights arrival to tier-II hockey. After being selected in phase II of the USHL draft Tuesday, both players will have the opportunity to take their talents to tier-I next season.

In 2016-17 both Maust and Dawson were leading members in the Knights 65-point season and the organization’s second-straight playoff appearance.

Maust, selected yesterday by the Green Bay Gamblers with the 75th overall pick, led the Knights with 28 assists this season. For the second straight year he registered 15 goals, picking up 43 points in 54 games, good for second-most on the team.

“Paul Maust is a hockey player,” said Knights head coach Tom Kowal. “He’s not the biggest skater out there, but he plays a big game. He loves mixing it up. He’s a smart player up and down the ice and his skill allows him to be a great threat in the offensive zone. His play sets a tone for his teammates.”

On the blue line, Dorian Dawson led all Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defensemen in scoring, tallying nine goals and 25 assists in 48 games. The Brown University commitment spent his time on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s top pair, power play, penalty kill and consistently took shifts late in games.

“Dorian’s a guy that is still scratching the surface,” said Kowal. “He continues to improve and that’s been a big factor for us. With the defensemen that moved on after 2015-16, we asked him to take a big step up this past season and he did. He doubled his points and showed he could play in any situation for us.”

Both Maust and Dawson found themselves highlighted for the efforts throughout 2016-17. Dawson earned the distinction of being named the NAHL’s defenseman of the month this past January, while Maust was named second star and twice given honorable mention in the East Division’s Star of the Week award.

At the Knights end of season awards dinner, Maust was named recipient of the Lancelot Award, an accolade given to the player that best represents the character and values of the Knights both on and off the ice. Both players represented the East Division at the NAHL’s Top Prospects Tournament in February.

“It’s a great feeling seeing two guys like Paul and Dorian rewarded for all their hard work,” said Kowal. “They’ve been big parts of our team on and off the ice over the past two seasons. They both have the work ethic to continue their success at higher levels of hockey, and we’re happy to have been a part of their development. We’ll be rooting hard for them every step of the way.”

 

Dawson Commits to Brown University

From NAHL.com

 From his first step onto the ice at the Revolution Ice Centre in Pittston, PA, Dorian Dawson has displayed nothing but high-end potential for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. As one of the members on the organization’s inaugural NAHL roster, the sturdy 6-2 200-pound defenseman has been through all manner of tests in his 103 NAHL games.

Through the first year of the Knights existence in the North American Hockey League, Dawson emerged as one of the team’s minute-eaters on the back end, playing in 62 of 63 possible games between the regular and postseason. In that stretch the defenseman recorded four goals and 13 assists, while growing into a steadying, two-way presence on the ice.

“Dorian has been a big part of this team since the start,” said Knights head coach Tom Kowal. “He’s grown a lot in the past year and a half and it’s been rewarding to see that play out both on and off the ice.”

In the wake of departed NHL draft-pick Dmitriy Zaitsev, Penn-State commit Paul DeNaples and Union-commit Joseph Campolieto, there existed a great opportunity for a defenseman to rise to the top of the Knights defensive corps. Now bearing an assistant captain’s patch on his sweater, Dawson has seized the role as the team’s proverbial #1.

“He’s been a top defenseman for us and this season he has grown into a leader in our locker room,” said Kowal. “He’s an extremely versatile, hard-working piece of our blue line that we use in all phases of our game. Power play, penalty kill, ahead on the scoreboard or behind-you name it, he’s out there.”

In 41 games played this season, Dawson has doubled his point total from the last, picking up seven goals and 23 assists while owning a +/- of +14. Through a stellar month of January, Dawson maintained a December-born point streak for nine games and posted a line of 1-10-11, +8 in nine games played. His efforts saw him named NAHL January Defenseman of the Month and secured his spot on the East Division’s Top Prospects Team at this year’s showcase. In his first game for the East on Monday, Dawson was +3 with one assist.

As it turns out, division one college hockey didn’t need too much more convincing. After two days at the Top Prospect Showcase, it has been announced that Dawson has committed to Brown University of the NCAA’s Eastern College Athletic Conference. The 1997 birth year will be a freshman for the Bears beginning in the 2018-19 season. The Brown Program has turned out a number of NHL alumni like, but not limited to, Tim Bothwell, Curt Bennett, Todd Simpson, and Ryan Garbutt.

“We’re excited for Dorian’s future and we are devoted to helping him continue to grow even further as a player,” said Kowal. “I’m very confident that Brown is going to be very happy with the player and the person they’re getting in Dorian Dawson.”

Four Knights to Attend Top Prospects Tournament

Quad

Paul Maust, Matt Kidney, Vince Marino and Dorian Dawson have been named to the NAHL’s annual Prospects Tournament. 

Four Knights will be making the trip to Plymouth, Michigan to represent the team and their division in the NAHL’s annual Top Prospect Tournament. The event will take place February 27th and 28th at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth in front of NCAA and NHL scouts.

As the current occupants of fourth place in the east, the Knights had three players selected to the all-division team. The addition of Vince Marino as a fourth player was via the NAHL Selects Roster.

Dorian Dawson, the team’s current assist leader and co-leader in points will be one of the east’s blue liners. Dawson was just named the NAHL’s defenseman of the month for January after scoring one goal and 10 assists, with a +7 mark in nine games played. On the year, the Ontario native marks 4th amongst all NAHL defensemen with 30 points (seven goals and 23 assists).

Joining Dawson is the other co-leader in points on roster, Paul Maust. Maust, after returning to the Knights in mid-September has been a tone-setter in his second year with the NAHL team. In 39 games played, the Butler, PA native has scored 12 goals and 18 assists. In that time he’s scored three game-winning goals, two power play goals and holds a +12 mark. His most impressive performance was on December 30th when he scored four goals and an assist against Kenai River.

Matt Kidney rounds out the Knights heading to Michigan. After being selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NAHL Entry Draft, Kidney lit up the league, scoring 9-12-21 in 19 games played. In that stretch he was awarded the East Division Star of the Week the week of October 24th, before being named the League’s Forward of the Month for October. Since returning to the Knights at the beginning of 2017, he’s recorded four goals and five assists in 10 games played.

UPDATE: Vince Marino has been added to the NAHL Selects team. The Selects will be coached by  Karlis Zirnis of the Shreveport Mudbugs and Craig Doremus of the New Jersey Titans. For his part, Marino has compiled six goals and nine assists through 29 games in the 2016-2017 NAHL season. After missing some time with injury, the ’98 birth year has been a versatile piece and big-bodied forward for the Knights in his first NAHL season.

“We’re excited for Dorian, Paul, Matt getting an opportunity to perform on a stage in front of scouts from college and the NHL,” said head coach Tom Kowal.  “Of course we are also excited that Vince Marino will be joining the tournament with the NAHL Selects team. As I’ve said before, the hard work each of these players has placed into their career development is evident and now being rewarded. This is their chance to take advantage of the spotlight that’s being turned their way. That’s what we want for all of our players, and we’re thrilled when we can work with them to get these valuable opportunities.”

For the official rosters of each team in the upcoming tournament click here.

 

Dorian Dawson Named Bauer NAHL Defenseman of the Month

The second-year veteran continues to prove himself amongst the most consistent players on the Knights and throughout the league. Already beginning January on a three-game point streak, Dawson checked into the scoring sheet in six more games in January before finally being held off of it on January 22nd.
That would be the only scoreless game of Dawson’s month. In addition to leading all NAHL defensemen with 11 points in January, he also was tied for the league’s highest assist total in that span with 10. His contributions were far from limited to the offensive zone however, buoyed by a +8 mark, as the Ontario native recorded a +/- of even or better in 8 of the 9 games last month.
In his second year with the Knights Dawson leads the team in both points and assists. His continued development extends to both on and off the ice. The Knights are proud of his progress and are happy that he is earning the recognition that comes with it.