Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Steelheads Look To Former Viper Andrusiak For Offensive Output:

Here is an article on former Vernon Vipers forward Zach Andrusiak. 

Andrusiak is in his first season with the ECHL Idaho Steelheads.

Andrusiak spent the past three seasons in the Western Hockey League with Seattle, Prince Albert & Everett before signing his first professional contract with the Steelheads August 8th 2019. In 49 games this season, Andrusiak has (10-goals-13-assists-23-points).

Andrusiak played fifteen games with the 2015-16 Vernon Vipers. The Vipers signed Andrusiak October 1st 2015 after being released from the Western Hockey League Tri-City Americans. Andrusiak picked up two assists with the Vipers before being released November 5th 2015. 

Zach Andrusiak's Player Profile:


This was in the Idaho Press newspaper:

Steelheads look to rookie Zack Andrusiak for offensive output

Oct 9 2019 

By JOHN WUSTROW jwustrow@idahopress.com

BOISE — As a 20-year old last year, Zack Andrusiak shined as one of the oldest players in the Western Hockey League.

Now the Idaho Steelheads are hoping the youngest player on their roster can give their offense a boost this season.

So far, things are looking good for Andrusiak, as the rookie notched a goal in each of Idaho’s two preseason games against the Utah Grizzlies last weekend and had an assist in Saturday’s game at CenturyLink Arena. His professional career will kick off in full force on Friday as the Steelheads open the regular season with a game against the Grizzlies in West Valley City, Utah.

“Obviously it’s going to be different playing against older guys,” said Andrusiak, who signed with Idaho in August. “I was the oldest guy in my league last year on the ice, so it’s obviously going to be different. But I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Over the past two seasons in the WHL, the left wing has averaged more than a point per game, scoring 74 goals and recording 64 assists. He had back-to-back 35-goal seasons to end his junior career, including 38 goals last season, a season which saw him traded from the Seattle Thunderbirds to the Everett Silvertips midway through the year. He added six goals and three assists for the Silvertips in the playoffs

Entering his rookie season in the ECHL, Andrusiak is hopeful he can keep up that same type of production in front of the net.

“I’ve always been able to put up some numbers at the levels I’ve played,” Andrusiak said. “I kind of try to stick to my strengths and I’ve got a pretty good shot. So I try to shoot the puck when I can and just try to help out the team in any area I can.”

While the Steelheads do have 14 players from last season’s squad back for the 2019-20 campaign, they do lose each of their top four goal scorers from a year ago — Steve McParland, Elgin Pierce, Reid Petryk and Brad McClure.

That quartet combined for 84 goal last year, nearly 35 percent of Idaho’s offensive output. Andrusiak’s offensive prowess should help makeup for some of that lost production.

“He’s been a great addition to us for sure,” said Spencer Naas, Idaho’s leading returning goal scorer, who had 18 last year. “He can obviously shoot the puck and whenever you get a new player that brings some new energy. He uses his skills and his shot to create offense, so I’m excited to see him do that more this season. Hopefully he can continue to contribute like he did and should be a great addition for us.”

The past couple of years, Andrusiak has proven a threat to score nearly every time he is on the ice. Before being acquired by Everett last season, he recorded three hat tricks, two in back-to-back games in November.

He tallied six goals in his final two games with the Thunderbirds, four in a home game against the Portland Winterhawks and two more two days later in Portland. He added a fourth hat trick in January with the Silvertips in a game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

“I think we watched all of his goals from the past few seasons,” said Idaho coach Everett Sheen. “We knew that he had a knack for the net, knew when to go to the dirty area. There was nothing but rave reviews on his personality and character. We had a pretty thorough background on him when we signed him.”

Prior to signing with the Steelheads, Andrusiak said he had never been to Boise, and only ever been in Idaho once, when his Canadian Sports School Hockey League Midget team played the Compete Hockey School in Coeur d’Alene. But his agency, The Sports Corporation, represents current Steelheads Mitch Moroz and Keegan Kanzig. He also works out with former Steelhead Brady Brassart. Everything he heard about Boise and the organization was glowing.

“I heard nothing but great things about the city,” Andrusiak said. “I heard it was very comparable to where I live in the Okanagan (region of British Columbia). I just got a real good feel, the mountains remind me of Kamloops, and that’s not too far from where I live. So it reminds me of home, for sure.”

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