Roman Uchyn came to the Brahmas last season at the trade deadline as part of a roster shakeup with an eye to the 2014/15 season. In exchange for Uchyn the Brahmas sent a second round pick (#29 overall) in the 2014 NAHL Entry Draft to the Coulee Region Chill. The move added some much needed experience and grit to the Brahmas offense.
Uchyn started his NAHL career with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays to open the 2012/13 season before earning a mid season call up to the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL. At the time of the call up then Ice Rays Head Coach Justin Quenville said “Roman drew a lot of attention early in the season and has developed well of late, when he plays his style as a power forward, he has the ability to play at any level.” Roman put up 12 points and 85 PIMs in 35 games for the Buccaneers. Things were looking promising for Uchyn heading into last season and he once again secured a spot on the Des Moines roster, but suffered an upper body injury that caused him to miss the first two months of the season. He returned to the lineup in early November, but was the odd man out in a crowded forward rotation and was dealt to Coulee Region after 19 games.
The Brahmas coaching staff seized on the opportunity to bring Uchyn to North Texas and called on his leadership ability by naming him as an Alternate Captain. At the time, Head Coach Dan Wildfong had a lot of praise for Uchyn. “He brings toughness,” explained Wildfong. He’s got a lot of speed. Deceptive speed. He doesn’t look like a Burner out there, but he is at ease with the puck.” Wildfong went on to say, “He is a big guy and he is solid. When you are hard to play against teams don’t want to play against you and those are the guys we want to have here.” If the A on his chest placed any added pressure on him, Uchyn did not let it affect his play. “Anyone can be a leader,” he stated. “A letter just gives you a little more responsibility which is just extra motivation to help out the team.” And help the team he did. Prior to the trade deadline moves the Brahmas’ winning percentage was .352% and they were averaging 2.14 goals per game. Over the last two months of the regular season the goals per game jumped to 2.63 and the winning percentage climbed to .594%.
“He is a big guy and he is solid. When you are hard to play against teams don’t want to play against you and those are the guys we want to have here.”
Three of the top four scorers from last season have moved on to the NCAA ranks this season, so Uchyn along with returning veterans Sebastian Vidmar and Liam Stirtzinger will be called on to lead the offense once the season gets under way. When asked if he though that would change the way they approached the game Uchyn was confident they would respond. “If we play the way we know we can and don’t try to do too much we’ll be able to put up good numbers,” said Roman. “We just have to focus on being good at both ends of the ice.”
Some of the pressure on the offense will be alleviated by the depth and experience the Brahmas will put on the blue line game in and game out. With returning veterans Alexey Solovyev, Johan Steen and draft pick Caleb Thompson the Brahmas will have a deep defensive corps. Uchyn knows that a strong defense will help the offensive attack. “It definitely gives you more options and opens things up when you’re confident you can give the puck to the point and they can make a play with it.”
Roman will be part of a large Chicago area contingent with the Brahmas this season. In addition to goalie TJ Black and defenseman Bud Madej, who the Brahmas tendered last season, there are draft picks Joe Nolan and Nick Ford. “I played against T.J growing up and he’s a great goalie. He’ll be a huge part of our success,” said Uchyn. “I know Bud is a good all around d-man with offensive power.”
Uchyn will undoubtedly be counted on to take a leadership role with the Brahmas again this season as one of the captains. When asked what he will work to instill into his teammates to help move the Brahmas back into a playoff contending team, Roman responded “Just being as good as we can be every day and working hard every game and every practice.” As for his goals for this season he has two, commit to a college and win the Robertson Cup. With the way the team is shaping up this off season, both are definitely within his grasp.
Fourth round draft choice #97 overall by Coulee Region Chill in the 2013 NAHL Entry Draft.
Thirteenth round draft choice #201 overall by Youngstown Phantoms in the 2014 USHL Entry Draft.
Honorable Mention as NAHL Easton’s Star of the Week – Week of March 31, 2014.
Scored his first NAHL goal as a member of the Corpus Christi Ice Rays at the 2012 NAHL Showcase in a 5-3 win over Johnstown. The goal was also the game winner.
Scored his first USHL goal 12/15/12 against the Youngstown Phantoms.
Had five multi point games last season with Brahmas.
Scored 1G – 3A in his first game in a Brahmas sweater in an 8 – 4 win over Odessa 2/7/14.
Had 2G – 1A against former team Ice Rays in a 4 – 2 win 3/1/14.
Figured in all three goals in a 4 – 3 loss to Odessa 2G – 1A on 3/21/14.
Figured in all four goals in a 4 – 3 win over Wichita Falls 2G – 2A on 3/26/14 to close out the regular season.
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