Eidsness unsure of future

Written By Kris Baker on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | 4/20/2011

The Okotoks Western Wheel today published a story about three former members of the AJHL's Oilers who recently participated in the NCAA Frozen Four as members of the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux. One of those former Oilers, 2007-08 league MVP Brad Eidsness, spoke about his tough go this season and admits he has a decision to make in the coming months regarding his senior year of eligibility.

For Eidsness, the 2010-2011 campaign was a bit more difficult.

After carrying the load in his first two years with the program, the Buffalo Sabres draft pick was largely relegated to back-up duties behind rookie phenom Aaron Dell, formerly of the Calgary Canucks.

Eidsness played in 41 games in each of his first two seasons with North Dakota but only managed to get into eight games this year.

“It was a really frustrating year,” he said.

With a hockey resumé as impressive as it is lengthy, Eidsness faces an offseason of questions as to whether he should return for his fourth year of eligibility.

“I’m going to make a decision that’s best for my hockey career,” he said, candidly. “At this point, I don’t really know what that is.”

Regardless of what happens, the former Okotoks star said this season has taught him a lot about himself and the importance of preparation.

Playing sparingly forced Eidsness to ramp up the intensity in practices and develop habits he insisted will help as he advances further in his hockey journey.

“I’m definitely a changed player,” he said. “Maybe that will help me moving forward.”

Brad seems intent on extending his playing career which is encouraging. I don't ever want to suggest that he would throw in the towel in his pursuit of becoming a member of the Buffalo Sabres, but Brad is by all accounts a rather brilliant young man who has the skills to succeed well beyond the rink. What's interesting is that just yesterday I put a tweet out regarding Aaron Dell's decision to remain at UND. I'm not sure how this effects Eids' future, but I have an idea:

"I’m going to make a decision that’s best for my hockey career"

Eidsness is set to wrap up his four-year degree a year ahead of time and has proven he can win games. This is definitely something worth tracking as the offseason progresses.


Anonymous said...

Say he (Eno)decides to forgo his senior season, what do you think is his path? Does he have a year of eligibility in the CHL like Fienhage? Certainly the ECHL is like throwing in the towel. Muse has quite an impressive resume, perhaps better than Eids... and he is undrafted and backing up Leggio in Portland. Does he do the Europe tour like Timmy Thomas? I just don't see him anywhere but a mens league. While we're on the subject of goalies, Knapp hasn't been able to surpass Reichard as #1 at Miami...an undrafted, undersized, yet quick goalie. Does he make the move to the AHL as a backup or stay his senior year?

I think its time to look at more goalies this draft.

Anonymous said...

Ooops I meant Eids not Eno

Kris Baker said...

For Eidsness, it's simple: If Hakstol will give him a chance at competing for the job, then he should 100% go back, nothing to think about. He does not have CHL eligibility left. The ECHL is not a bad option at all if the Sabres want to sign him now (ask Neuvirth about his stint in the coast league) and deem him not ready to back-up in the A. He's still a good goaltender who has won some big games. My primary thought is to keep him in school.

Knapp was average in split duty this past season. He's improved his movement (sharper) and is more AHL-ready than Eids in my opinion but letting him go back to Oxford wouldn't be at all a bad thing. Sabres are in a tough spot having guys who are not playing; will definitely look at a goalie or two this draft. All forwards and G this year.

Muse was a good pick-up for the short term. Get a guy with no commitment and see if he can win a future invite while trying to sort out the NCAA guys. I'm still not 100% sure he's a "better" goalie than Eidsness or Knapp but he certainly has earned the look he's getting. Can't argue the BC resume.

Anonymous said...

What goalie prospects do you think the sabres are looking at in this years draft? Nobody seems to be standing out at this point.
thanks for all you do!

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