Throughout the month of August, BismarckBobcats.com will be taking a one-by-one look at the players on the Bobcats’ Training Camp Roster. Today’s installment covers incoming Bobcats forward Joe Giordano.
Name: Joe Giordano
Hometown: Ellington, CT
2011-12 Team: Springfield Pics
2011-12 Stats: 45 GP, 18 G, 51 A, 69 PTS, 16 PIM
Favorite Pro Sports Team: Boston Bruins
Favorite Musical Artist: Toby Keith
What I’m Looking Forward To in 2012-13: “Playing in front of the Bobcats’ fans. Playing out east we didn’t get many people in the stands and I think I’ll get a whole new energy from the fans in Bismarck.”
There are countless ways that a player can catch the eye of a coaching staff, whether it’s attending a scouting combine, attending a tryout camp or simply standing out in regular season play with a scout in the building.
Those options, however, are timeless; the proliferation of the internet has helped players gain visibility in many new ways, including something as simple as an email—which is how Joe Giordano caught the attention of the Bismarck Bobcats.
On May 28, just three days before the 2012 Entry Draft, Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie received an email from one “Joe Giordano” telling him that after a 69-point season in the Tier III Eastern Junior Hockey League that he was ready to make the jump to the NAHL.
“I’d been in the EJHL for four years and I put up some pretty good numbers, especially last season,” explained Giordano, who ranked sixth league-wide in points in the EJHL for 2011-12, “but I just wasn’t getting the looks I wanted. I knew the Bobcats had a great reputation for their off-ice training program and I knew that would be a spot I’d like to end up.”
Sedevie and his assistant coach Garrett Roth immediately went to work, compiling information and scouting reports on the 20 year-old forward that suddenly appeared on their draft board.
“We get emails very often from players looking to move up to the NAHL,” noted Sedevie, “and usually we are happy to invite them to one of our Pre-Draft Camps so that we can get a better look at them as a player. Unfortunately for us, Joe approached us after those camps had ended, but his numbers from last season made us do our homework heading into the draft.”
Looking at drafting a forward in the seventh round, the Bobcats used their 130th selection on Giordano, adding him to their 30-man protected list for the 2012-13 season.
“We were excited to be able to get an established player with a later pick,” added Roth. “We think being able to get Joe in the seventh round will end up being one of the real steals of the whole draft.”
All That Power
Hailing from Ellington, which sits just eight miles from the Massachusetts border in Connecticut, some might simply look at the “Hometown” column of the Bobcats’ roster to generalize Giordano as an “east coast player.”
The 5’10, 190-pound forward strongly disagrees with that sentiment.
“I don’t view myself as a typical New England guy at all,” asserted Giordano. “Most times when you think of the east coast you think of flashy guys. I’m more of a power forward; I want to use my size to make plays in the corners and set up my teammates.
“I guess you could say I want a more all-around game than people might think when they see ‘east coast’.”
Giordano is particularly looking forward to a higher level of physical intensity in the NAHL.
“The last four years haven’t been as gritty or hard-hitting as I think it will be in the North American League,” said Giordano, “so I’m excited to see how my game translates.”
At the Bobcats’ Main Camp in late July, Giordano impressed onlookers as he scored two goals with three assists at the three-day tryout.
The onlookers impressed him, as well.
“It was pretty cool to see all the fans there to watch Main Camp. We’re not used to seeing that out east, so I’m ready to see how the fans are for a real game in September.”
The Long Haul
Throughout his career, Giordano has stayed close to home: playing in prep school at Loomis Chaffee School in nearby Windsor, Conn., and spending four years in juniors in Springfield, Mass., just 20 miles northeast of his parents’ house.
Needless to say, it might be a bit of culture shock for the forward to now move 1,750 miles west for the next step in his hockey career—but he says he’s ready.
“I’ve lived with my parents the whole way so far, but we’re very close and we’ll stay close even across that kind of distance,” stated Giordano. “And I think that I’m the kind of guy who can fit in anywhere, so I’m not worried about something new like this.”
Easing the anxiety of such a bold new journey for Giordano is the excitement of what he sees as a team with a lot of potential.
“Getting to play with some of the veterans like Adam [Knochenmus] at Main Camp and seeing the other players as the weekend went by, there are a lot of really good players,” related Giordano, who played on a line with Knochenmus and Bobcats’ top draft pick Kevin Becker at Main Camp. “The ‘D’ and goalies who were there were good, but the really exciting thing is the forwards: there were so many good players up front and it looks like we’re going to have a lot of depth.
“There’s a lot of talent and this team could really be something special.”
Stay tuned to BismarckBobcats.com over the next month as we take you in-depth with every player on the Training Camp Roster in preparation for the 2012-13 season. This week we will also feature Nate Repensky, Bob Kinne, Johno May and Shane Joyce.