FLINT, Michigan — Two Michigan Warriors have already caught the eye of scouts from both the National Hockey League and Division 1 colleges.
During last week’s North American Hockey League showcase in Minnesota, scouts approached coach Moe Mantha about defenseman Ryan Trenz and forward Tyler Perpich.
Mantha, a former defenseman who spent 12 seasons in the National Hockey League, said Monday that scouts from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Minnesota Wild inquired about Trenz.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Trenz is a St. Louis native who had one goal and two assists as the Warriors posted a 2-2 record in the showcase.
“They liked his poise with the puck, his demeanor in moving the puck,” Mantha said. “He’s a mobile-type defenseman. They were quite pleased with his hockey sense, his poise and what he brought to the game.”
The interest from the Maple Leafs and Wild means Trenz — who helped the St. Louis Junior Blues win the Tier III Junior A national championship last season — will be put into the Central Scouting Bureau data base that clubs used to prepare for the NHL Entry Draft.
Trenz also spoke with some college scouts during the showcase.
“It’s basically every hockey player’s goal to go to the pros,” said Trenz, 18. “To know they’re looking at me and saw me is pretty cool. College is definitely the first step. I want to play D-1 somewhere.
“Last year, until the end of the year, I wasn’t going to play (this season). I was going to go to school. Then we won nationals and I decided to play another year and they picked me up here.”
Moving players to college is the ultimate goal of all North American Hockey League teams so drawing attention from NHL scouts was a bonus.
“It’s kind of nice to have two NHL teams come up and ask about the young man, his character and attitude,” Mantha said. “They liked his drive going to the net and into the corners.
“They just like the way he plays up and down the ice and keeps the game simple.”
Mantha said having Trenz in the Central Scouting data base could help attract other scouts to Perani Arena, which is good for the entire organization.
“If somebody comes into the building to watch a young player, it gives the other players an opportunity to be exposed,” Mantha said. “It’s quite nice.”
Mantha said some D-1 scouts also inquired about Perpich, an 18-year-old native of Novi.
Perpich (6-1, 180) had two goals and two penalty minutes in three games in the showcase.
The Warriors home opener is Friday against the Springfield Junior Blues at Perani Arena.