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Eric Pohlkamp of Cedar Rapids RoughRiders is USHL Defenseman of the Year
The Minnesota resident led the league in points, power-play goals, assists and points
CEDAR RAPIDS — Eric Pohlkamp of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders was honored Thursday as the United States Hockey League’s Defenseman of the Year.
Pohlkamp, 19, had 16 goals and 35 assists in 59 games this season for the RoughRiders. The points total tied for the league lead, and he led the USHL in power-play goals (9), power-play assists (18) and power-play points (27).
He also led USHL defensemen with 179 shots on goal.
“He has really grown as a person, grown as a player,” RoughRiders Coach Mark Carlson said. “Learning the value of his physical play as well. He’s going to continue to improve. This is just the beginning for him.”
The Brainerd, Minn., native has signed with Bemidji State University. He played two seasons with the RoughRiders.
All postseason league awards are voted on by USHL general managers. Pohlkamp is the second RoughRiders player to win Defenseman of the Year honors, following Jack Ahcan in 2016.
He was listed No. 118 among North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings of 2023 NHL Draft eligible players, meaning there is a possibility he will be selected by a NHL team.
“I’ve got way more confidence,” Pohlkamp said, earlier this season. “I know the systems Coach likes, so I’m always here and there, and then I can kind of do my own little thing. Just kind of play my game. But, really, having a lot more confidence is the key.”
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