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Is Max McCormick The Next Best Thing Coming Out Of Binghamton?

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Move over Shane Prince and Matt Puempel, there's someone else lurking in the shadow's that needs to be addressed, and that is rookie standout Max McCormick.

Rookie Max McCormick draws battle off the faceoff with Mike Sislo of the Albany Devils
Rookie Max McCormick draws battle off the faceoff with Mike Sislo of the Albany Devils
Alicia Strauch

On a personal introductory of sorts being the new guy here at Silver Seven, let me take a few moments in introducing myself. My background has been a hockey fan in the City of Binghamton for over 40+ season's and participated playing locally for the sport we all know and love in my youth for 12 years.

I'll be re-visiting some earlier published B-Sens' piece's as former Editor over at SenShot and will provide updated player evaluation's in establishing a new fan-base here at S7 over the upcoming summer months leading into the 2015-'16 season.

In addition, I've brought with me my team of Alicia Strauch and her fine pics from live game action, as well as Matt Trayling and his colorful graphic art work as I couldn't do it with out them.

Hope you all enjoy!

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Let's get to the facts. Max is the real deal. Plain and simple.

When rookie forward Max McCormick took the ice for the first time in Binghamton playing for the Senators, the 23-year-old displayed hustle and determination and caught the attention from the team's strong fan base.

I found myself rooting more for Matt Puempel then I was of Shane Prince in their rookie debuts, but can say without hesitation, Max tops both of them with his confidence and hustle on the ice on every shift when looking back. He was my dark-horse favorite from the beginning and he didn't fail in his first pro season playing for the Binghamton Senators.

Max can shoot the puck, he skates, he brings energy and intensity and that gravitates around the dressing room. - Luke Richardson

In looking back, McCormick enjoyed a bright career playing for Ohio State as he earned the team’s Rookie of the Year honors in the 2011-12 season, and was a two-time CCHA Rookie of the Week recipient and member of the CCHA All-Rookie Team. He also was selected as a CCHA Scholar-Athlete in 2012-13, along with a two-time Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten candidate.

With his college days now behind him, the native of De Pere, WI, a small town south of Green Bay, was a sixth round pick by Ottawa in 2011 and drafted 171th overall. This season, he led all rookies in PIM in the AHL with 133 and amassed 11 fights including taking on rival Syracuse Crunch veteran defenseman J. P. Cote leading up to his final battle, as he's no slouch when taking off the gloves.

Just shy of 6'0", the 183 lbs. left winger scored 10 goals and added 10 assists and was never a healthy scratch playing in 62 games for the Senators, as he missed a handful in the beginning of the season with an upper body injury. A high energy player that will surprise you with robust hustle giving 110% effort while centering the checking line for the Senators this past season.

What draws my attention to McCormick more than others is his intensity, giving his all on every shift. Not the most gifted player on the offensive side but a Zack Smith type of player nonetheless times two with good speed and a nice set of hands directing play in the offensive zone and a better offensive threat with more jump. He doesn't take undisciplined penalties, which is a rarity with first year players in the A.

He shows good defensive abilities as well and likes to mix things up in the slot. This is part of why I gave him a B in my recent grades as he shared Rookie of the Year team awards with his fellow roommate and bud Ryan Dzingel. In centering the checking line for the majority of the season, his numbers are that much more impressive, having played with less offensive players. He's more of a grinder and likes to grind it out in the corners while maintaining a scoring touch.

McCormick did commit a few rookie mistakes in his process of making adjustments, however does show promise in the learning curve. He has good jump and is very strong on his feet while displaying great strides in moving the puck followed with a good attitude. A joy to watch on the ice as he learns the pro ranks from his past collegiate success.

Perhaps a season or two away in his development, but he's on the right path for a bottom six in the NHL soon.

Dzingel is also a player to keep an eye on but appeared to be a bit of a scrambler at times attempting too much in the offensive zone. Still, he to should be high on the list of players to succeed at the next level utilizing his speed as his best credential, while having a keen eye for the net on offense.

With McCormick's drive and ferocious intensity along the wall, this wins fan's praises as shown with these selected tweets in his support;

And this one tops it off from Alicia. She offers a light-hearted attempt in keeping it spicy. Well done!

*Cover Pic & Insert Courtesy of Alicia Strauch