Tuesday, January 5, 2010

NHL.com: Ennis growing into his own

NHL.com currently has a nice piece up on Portland forward Tyler Ennis. The 5'9 rookie is currently tied for the AHL rookie lead in scoring with 12 goals and 35 points in 37 games.

On playing center:

"(Buffalo) really wants all of its (forwards) to know how to play different positions," he said. "They told me in juniors that they'd like me to try and learn how to play center, so I tried it for a few games and then went back to wing. But I played center all through training camp this year and have stuck with it here in Portland."

The position change has proved challenging at times for Ennis, who said the technical aspect of faceoffs is one area that he has particularly needed to focus on improving. He also finds himself trailing the play into the offensive zone more as a center, as opposed to primarily leading the rush on the one of the wings.

But describing himself as a mix between a playmaker and a scorer, the switch hasn't hampered his ability to develop scoring opportunities.

"Once you're in the (offensive) zone, things tend to develop where all the forwards are getting chances. So I haven't noticed much difference in terms of (passing the puck vs. opportunities to score)," he said.

I recommend reading the entire article, as it capsulizes his season-to-date rather well.