Scoggins extra: Turns out the Ivy League can produce grinders after all

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 8, 2011 - 11:27 PM
hide

Darroll Powe passed to the front of the net Saturday in the Wild's home opener Saturday night.

Photo: Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Darroll Powe began his professional hockey career at the same time he was finishing his thesis at Princeton University. That's not the typical launch to an NHL career, but he got a well-rounded education in more ways than one.

Powe shuttled back and forth between his Ivy League school and the school of hard knocks as an undrafted player trying to earn a spot on the Philadelphia Flyers's minor league team.

"That was tricky," said Powe, who wrote his thesis on adolescent drug use. "I'm happy I finished [school]."

Powe's ability to multi-task also should come in handy in his current line of work. The Wild acquired Powe in a trade with Philadelphia this offseason with the idea of using him in a variety of roles. He's a self-described "grinder" who can play center or wing on different lines and different situations.

Powe spent most of training camp as a winger on the Wild's third line. Then came word two days before Saturday's season opener against Columbus that he would center the fourth line after the Wild waived Eric Nystrom.

Powe shrugged when asked about his new role.

"I kind of had to learn and adapt," he said. "When coaches ask me if I play a position, I just say yeah because I don't want to be sent somewhere. You just kind of jump in and do whatever you can to help."

Sounds simplistic, but that's his game. Nothing too fancy about it. He brings energy, toughness and a willingness to hit anything that moves. Powe logs a ton of time on the penalty kill unit and tries to create havoc on the forecheck.

He led the Flyers in hits (196) last season and had the second-most shorthanded minutes (257) among their forwards.

Basically, the guy does the dirty work. And loves it.

"I just bring hard work, a grinder game," he said. "Little bit of penalty kill experience. That's something I'm comfortable doing. That's kind of been my role the last few years. It's something I can bring to the table."

Determined to find more toughness and gritty play, the Wild traded a 2013 third-round pick for Powe and then signed him to a three-year, $3.2 million contract. The acquisition didn't spark as much attention as the arrival of scorers Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi, but adding Powe's versatility to the mix has the potential to be significant.

The Wild enters the season with major questions defensively, so it needs to be disruptive up front. The team finished middle of the pack in the NHL in penalty killing last season, so Powe should help improve that unit, too.

Plus, he brings experience. He played in 40 playoff games in three seasons with the Flyers.

"He's a hard-nosed hockey player," forward Cal Clutterbuck said. "He's got some skill, and you can see he's a smart guy. He knows the game. He's definitely made us better already."

And smarter. I mean, the guy graduated from Princeton with a degree in sociology. That should raise the Wild's overall GPA, right?

"School was something I always took pride in and something I wanted to continue after high school," he said. "Growing up, my dream was to play college hockey. When I got the opportunity to apply to Princeton, it was a no-brainer."

The same can be said of the Wild's initial plan to pair Powe and Clutterbuck on the same line with Kyle Brodziak at center. Clutterbuck has led the league in hits the past three seasons. Powe is cut from the same cloth. That line combination has the potential to drive opponents nuts.

Perhaps that will happen eventually, but coach Mike Yeo opted to split them up to start the season. Yeo said nothing is set in stone in terms of how he plans to use Powe.

"He's a guy who will be able to bounce around," Yeo said. "One day he might be on the third line. One day he might be on the fourth line. One day he might be even higher than that. He's a guy who adds a lot in terms of the roles he can bring to the table and different ways he can contribute to our team."

Chip Scoggins • ascoggins@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close