Know Your Bobcat – Kolton Aubol
Throughout the months of August and September, BismarckBobcats.com will be taking a one-by-one look at the players on the Bobcats’ Training Camp Roster. Today’s installment features rookie Bobcat forward Kolton Aubol.
Name: Kolton Aubol
Hometown: East Grand Forks, MN
Weight: 175 lbs.
2012-13 Team: East Grand Forks Green Wave
2012-13 Stats: 25 GP, 13 G, 12 A, 25 PTS, 2 PPG, 4 GWG
Favorite TV Show: Entourage
Favorite NHL Player: Zach Parise (Minnesota Wild)
Highlight of 2012-13: “The moment that the Sectional Finals ended and we knew we would be playing at the Xcel Energy Center. It was just a moment of pure happiness.”
Ride the Wave
Coming into his final year at East Grand Forks High School, current Bismarck Bobcats forward Kolton Aubol and his fellow seniors knew that their team had the potential for something great.
“Sitting in the locker room after the season ended junior year (a 4-1 loss to Thief River Falls in the Section 8A finals), we knew that we had what it takes to be a State Tournament team in 2012-13,” stated Aubol, who was honorable mention for the AP Minnesota All-State Team in 2012. “We had seven players coming back and we knew that if we worked hard we could get there.”
It had been 12 years since the Green Wave had hoisted a Sectional banner but an early regular season contest against St. Cloud Cathedral gave the veteran East Grand Forks squad an indication that they were on the right track.
“We took a lot of penalties that game—three five-minute majors—and killed them all off,” recalled Aubol, who tallied a pair of goals in the contest, “before we took over the game in the third period. We knew that if we could battle that much adversity on the road even early in the season that the sky was the limit.”
East Grand Forks would go on to a dominating regular season, finishing 19-3-3 and earning the top seed in Section 8A playoffs.
That’s where the fun really began for the Green Wave: East Grand Forks knocked off Lake of the Woods 6-1 and then pulling away in the third period to close out Crookston 4-1, earning them a spot in the sectional final against Class A powerhouse Warroad.
“We felt pretty confident about our chances and then during our off-ice warm-up we walked by our student section and it was jam-packed and already making tons of noise even an hour before the game,” related Aubol. “That fired us up so much and made us even more confident.”
After the Green Wave went up 1-0 in the second period, Aubol would put the finishing touches on the Sectional Finals with an empty-netter in the final minute to deliver East Grand Forks the sectional tile and punch their tickets to “The X.”
“It was our goal all year long to hang another banner at the Civic Center,” offered Aubol. “It was a dream come true, especially to do it in front of our fans.”
East Grand Forks would tip Rochester Lourdes at the State Tournament 3-2 behind two goals from Aubol before falling to the eventual state champion St. Thomas Academy Cadets.
Standing at just 5’7”, Kolton Aubol may not have a vertical advantage over his opponents, so he has to find a way to get a different advantage.
“One thing that caught our attention about Kolton is that he works his tail off out there,” assessed Bobcats assistant coach Garrett Roth. “He has a motor that never stops running, which is why he always finds himself in a spot to make a big play or score a big goal.”
His work ethic was evident to the coaches during the tryout process, as well: after receiving an invite to main camp thanks to a successful pre-draft tryout in Denver, Aubol was instructed to work on his release speed on his shot.
“When you make the jump to juniors, you don’t have nearly as much time or space to take shots,” advised Aubol, “and the coaches told me that I needed to improve that release to take that step from high school.”
It didn’t take long for the rookie forward to show the coaches that he’d taken the time and put in the effort to address their concerns.
“In the very first game I found myself in a spot where I had a lane to shoot but a defender was crashing in on me,” Aubol added, “but I managed to get the shot off and create a chance for our team right out of the gate.”
The coaches took note.
“We were impressed with Kolton’s release at main camp, but even more impressed that he put in the work where we, as coaches, told him he needed to step up,” analyzed Roth. “That says a lot about a player.”
Though Kolton Aubol has only been in Bismarck/Mandan for the past three weeks, he’s already buying into a major tenet that Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie always impresses upon his charges.
“Team success leads to individual success,” recited Aubol, who averaged a point-per-game in his senior season at East Grand Forks. “Because when the team plays well, it attracts the attention of scouts; when the team makes the playoffs, it brings the attention of more and better schools.
“Everyone reaps the benefits of a strong team.”
Aubol sees the makings of that strong kind of team, even at this early stage.
“When we went on our run last year (with East Grand Forks), the underclassmen all bought into their roles, and you see that with everyone in our locker room now: guys making sacrifices and doing whatever it takes to be a championship team,” lauded the Minnesotan.
As the returners from last season’s Central Division Championship squad have stressed to the newcomers throughout training camp, a critical component to achieving team success will be group chemistry.
According to Aubol, they haven’t merely talked the talk in that regard.
“Even as early as Hell Week, all the veterans have done a great job of making the rookies feel welcome. We’re competing against each other to win the Hell Week points competition but at the same time everyone is clapping and encouraging each other to give their best—for the team,” said the rookie forward.
With the regular season looming on Wednesday, the talk of team success will finally have a chance to be put into action.
“We are setting out next week with the goal of winning a Robertson Cup,” Aubol stated firmly. “We want to show the coaches, the scouts and ourselves that we have that ‘it’ that champions have; we’ll succeed as a team and it will help everyone chase their hockey dreams for years to come.”
Stay tuned to BismarckBobcats.com as we take you in-depth with every player on the Training Camp Roster in preparation for the 2013-14 season. Tomorrow we’ll wrap up the 2013 edition of Know Your Bobcat with Tommy Malkmus.