The Bozeman Icedogs have received a commitment from center Austin Nottke to play for the club during the 2013-2014 season. Nottke is entering his final year of eligibility and is excited to play with the Icedogs. “I am very excited to be playing my final year of eligibility with this organization I'm looking forward to an amazing final year.” Said Nottke.
Nottke is looking to get back on track after a difficult year with the Central Wisconsin Saints in 2012-2013. He began the season as the top-line center, but in the season’s first showcase he injured his groin. Nottke also developed a hernia during the season and his injuries slowed his play and offensive abilities considerably.
Mark Vichorek coached, who worked with Nottke last season had this to say: “Austin played for me last year in Wisconsin and had a tough year. I knew he was a good player, especially having a 4 point weekend in our first series. Austin Struggled a bit the rest of the year as we found out he had a hernia that was obviously hampering his play. What it showed me was his "guts" literally, and his toughness to play 5 more months with that serious medical problem. “
Nottke chose Bozeman, in part, because of the way he was coached last season. “Playing under Coach Mark, I know what to expect and I can easily say we will be consistently working hard to strive to become successful. That is the reason I chose Bozeman and I wouldn't change it for the world.” He added, “My main goal to accomplish this season is to stay consistent with my play and become the leader I need to be to help my team in all aspects.”
Nottke still managed to amass 10 goals and 20 points in 47 games while playing mostly third line minutes. Nottke is a player that can play anywhere in the lineup. He has good speed and acceleration and he sees the ice well. He can muscle his way to the front of the net and put the puck away. He is also a dogged defender most of the time.
Nottke’s real value comes from the way he plays away from the puck. Nottke led all Saints skaters last year with 204 hits. He also led the team in faceoff percentage by a hefty margin. “I am the type of player that will hustle, hit and grind to do whatever it takes to put that puck in the net, or allow a teammate of mine to do so.” Nottke said of his own play.
His coach was similarly complimentary, saying, “Austin is a very tough customer on the ice and loves to throw his body around and bang into people. He has better than average hands and can make plays. He is also a veteran that will bring very important leadership to the Icedogs this year.”
Coach Vichorek also believes that Nottke’s career will not end in Bozeman. “I think Austin has the ability to play some college hockey in the next few years. He works extremely hard and never quits and I know a lot of college coaches looking for that type of player.”
Nottke’s mind is on the present however, saying, “This game’s not easy and nothing is given freely. You have to go out there and take it. I plan on doing just that.”