Jets' Bogosian coming on strong

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian fires a shot on net during an optional practice in Winnipeg...

Winnipeg Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian fires a shot on net during an optional practice in Winnipeg Sunday October 23, 2011. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agency)

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:04 AM ET

Zach Bogosian is quick to recognize the value of having Charlie Huddy around to pass along helpful hints as he continues to work on his craft as an emerging NHL defenceman.

After clashing with Atlanta Thrashers assistant John Torchetti at times last season, Bogosian has clicked with Huddy, the longtime NHL blue-liner and assistant coach.

If you take hockey out of it, (Huddy) is a nice person and he cares about you, thats the biggest thing for me, Bogosian said earlier this week.

Hes easy to communicate with, hes calm. We go over a lot of video and usually its all positive stuff. There are times when he tells me certain things I have to work on, but its in a good way. Its not in a bad, degrading manner or anything like that.

Its a good relationship that I have with him. He just tries to bring the best out of me. I get up for every game and I dont need anyone to motivate me, I dont need someone in my face yelling and Charlie has been great with that. The best thing about him is if things are going bad, he stays calm the whole time. As a defenceman, if you get yelled and screamed at, it hurts your confidence a little bit. Ive dealt with a lot of things my first three years that will help me out further in my career.

What aspect of his game has Bogosian seen the biggest improvement in as a member of the Winnipeg Jets?

Ive been working hard in the D-zone and seeing a lot of things I wasnt seeing in previous years and making that good first pass. The game is slowing down a bit, said Bogosian, who was the third overall pick by the Thrashers in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and made the club as an 18-year-old. When I first got into the league, I was flying off of raw talent and I didnt have to think too much.

Bogosian, 20, has been playing with Mark Stuart for all but two games this season and the duo has essentially served as the Jets shutdown pairing.

Its a challenge every night, but I enjoy it and its been good with Mark, I know where hes going to be all the time and I know what hes going to bring every night hes a high-energy guy and so am I, said Bogosian, who has four assists in 15 games this season.

Offence isnt what I just want to be known for. I want to be known as an all-around defenceman.

For his part, Huddy sees the growth in Bogosians game and a genuine drive to improve.

Hes done a good job and its not an easy job for a young defenceman to kill penalties against the skill in the league, said Huddy. Its all about me showing confidence in him and allowing him to go out in certain situations. The skating part for him is not an issue, the offensive part is not an issue. Hes got a great shot. Its just the defensive part of the game that needs to continue to get better. Hes big and strong and hes able to finish checks hard, that will make the opposition think twice about coming around the net or holding onto the puck that extra second. Ive also talked to him about body positioning and using his stick a little bit better.

When youve got the skating ability that he has, theres speed there and hes just real strong and powerful. You never want to take that away from guys, but you need to know when to jump up in the rush and when not to do it. And hes figuring that out.

JET FUEL: The Jets placed forward Ben Maxwell, who had no points in four games this season, on waivers Wednesday.


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