Kyle Bigos is a load. 6.05, 235. He’s a 20-year old NCAA freshman and continues to build a reputation for playing on successful teams. Bigos was a member of the 08-09 BCJHL champion Vernon Vipers and was named MVP of the Royal Bank Cup the same season.
Now playing for Merrimack College, his team got off to a good start and have earned victories against some pretty famous NCAA schools this winter (including Boston College).
He’s a big defender who can flat out intimidate. He recently told Guy Flaming that his role is “to be as physical as I can and establish a presence on the blueline. I love to move the puck and play 5-on-5 with the team we have, but I’m also getting a chance on the powerplay. I’m mainly used as a shooter. I also get to play PK which is a blast! I think to go out and block shots and to try and stop the talent-filled teams in HE is a great challenge and a lot of fun.”
You can read the entire interview with Guy here. All prospects chosen in the area Bigos went have to be considered long shots but NHL history has all kinds of examples of big men who take time to develop but become useful players. Cory Cross would be an example, Randy Gregg too. These men had tremendous wingspans, an ability to move bodies and perhaps most importantly the intelligence to play the game well by reading and reacting to the puck carrier.
Bigos is from California, and he represents the most prominent NHL draft number for Merrimack since 2002. He’s been in 17 NCAA games so far, going 2-4-6 -4, leads the team in PIMS (34) and has had most of his offensive success on the powerplay (2-3-5). The club loves home cooking (7-1-0) but are a disaster on the road (0-9-0).
Merrimack has graduated several players to the NHL over the last 20 years, including Steve McKenna (who is 6.09), Matt Foy, Greg Classen and Darrel Scoville. Entering this season, 24 Californians had played in the show, with Roy Sommer being the first and Brooks Orpik being the best (probably).
I promised Pat that I’d post on some of the less famous Oiler picks from the most recent draft and this is the latest in a series. Instead of tying all of these items into a story, I think the best thing is to list the source and then the prose.
- Mike McMahon, North Andover Eagle Tribune: Bigos likely has the best chance of getting picked, some scouts believe as high as the second round. Several have indicated the New Jersey Devils are high on him.
- Stu MacGregor: “His game has done nothing but get better. A young man whose development curve is just beginning to move forward. Great shot, skates well for a big guy, he’s someone we see huge potential in down the road.”
There are other quotes available in the Bigos post I made on draft day, you can click on “Bigos” below and read that one (it’ll be below this post). I think we can safely say this fellow’s outer marker is someone like Cory Cross and that’s not meant as an insult in any way. Huge defensemen with massive wingspan and a good head on their shoulders are a very valuable commodity in any era.