ALLEN, TX – In a previous article, I looked at some of the new defensemen on the 2017-18 Allen Americans team. Today, it is time to look at the forwards that are new to Allen. This list will grow over the next couple of weeks, and I am not including Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Jonathan Lessard who have played in Allen before. As I mentioned previously, my goal is not to do a complete player profile but, give you some idea of the type of player Allen is getting. I will do in depth player profiles once they arrive in Allen.
OLIVIER ARCHAMBAULT – A fourth-round draft choice (#108 overall) of the Montreal Canadiens in 2011, Olivier is a 24-year-old left shot forward who is 6′ 0″ and 190 pounds. The 2017-18 season will be his fourth as a pro. He has averaged close to a point a game in 123 ECHL games (58G, 56A) and has also played in 40 AHL games. His goals per game average over his ECHL career (.47) is outstanding. Steve Martinson coached Archambault in the 2015 ECHL all-star game when Olivier made the ECHL all-stars as a rookie while playing for the Alaska Aces.
Archambault is an offensive minded player with excellent speed and acceleration with very quick hands. He will remind you of Greger Hanson coming down the left wing. He is great at puck protection and offensive vision.
Olivier played his junior career in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and was the first overall pick in the 2009 QMJHL draft. When the Montreal Canadiens drafted him they had this to say:
“After having watched some Archambault tape, it is apparent he is just exploding with the skill that made him a first overall pick in the QMJHL. He has elite speed, great hands and exceptional playmaking abilities along with good hockey IQ.”
Here is a video of what he can do:
What number might he be looking for? He has a lot of them over his career but has been wearing #19 in two of his three ECHL seasons and wore #10 last season.
He is not a fighter but ends up with two or three scraps each season.
MARCUS BASARA – Marcus joins the Allen Americans as a rookie having just completed his college eligibility at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks where he played in 140 games and had 87 points (41G, 46A). He is a 6’0″ 200 pound right shot forward who hails from British Columbia. One of his college coaches described Marcus as the type of player that has the rare combination of speed and skill having the ability to make plays at top speed. Marcus attended the Washington Capitals development camp in the summer of 2015 and 2016. Basara was a Business Administration major in college and was named to the WCHA all-academic team twice.
Here is a video from when Marcus was 16 and playing junior-A hockey for the Vernon Vipers, but it gives you a lot of information about him. Some game highlights, his coaches comments on his abilities, his aspirations to attend a Division-1 hockey school and some of his likes and dislikes.
Rookies typically don’t have much (if any) say in what number they wear, but Marcus seems to be a fan of #9 along with several other players. I am reminded of what equipment manager Kacee Coberly, who was in Allen for several years, told me he used to tell rookies who asked for a specific number, “you are lucky to have any number so don’t be asking me for a specific number.”
ZACH POCHIRO – Zach is a 23-year-old 6’2″ forward that weighs 200 pounds. He was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the fourth round (#112 overall) in the 2013 NHL draft. He played two years in the WHL for the Prince George Cougars before signing a three-year professional contract with St. Louis. But after playing a few pro games for Kalamazoo Wings in 2013-14 and Alaska Aces in 2014-15, he was sent back to juniors (Prince George) as a 20-year-old.
Here is a video that gives some background.
Here is another story that gives you some background on Zach: https://www.nhl.com/blues/news/pochiro-out-to-prove-hes-no-gamble/c-725775
What kind of player will Pochiro be for the Allen Americans? Here is one scouting report (McKeen’s) before Zach was drafted by St. Louis that gives you a good idea of the type of player he is.
“Pochiro is an energetic, hard working center that shows a good mix of speed, grit, and skill. A good intense skater that reaches a top gear fast and boasts a terrific lateral step. Not belligerent, yet ultra aggressive and fearless. Will sacrifice himself diving in front of pucks on the penalty kill and is a willing combatant.”
There are many examples of talented forwards that seem to thrive in the Steve Martinson system and have increased production when playing for Allen. Jonathan Lessard, Gary Steffes, Spencer Asuchak and Bryan Moore are good examples. Zach Pochiro could be that kind of player this season. He played in Norfolk last season on one of the worst teams in the league and scored just three goals and had 24 assists in 42 games.
From my research, it appears Zach is a fan of #13 but you can be assured that number will not be available anytime soon, if ever. That number is headed to the rafters once Chad Costello finishes his playing career.
DID YOU KNOW: Olivier Archambault, Zach Pochiro, and Tanner Eberle were teammates in Quad City in 2015-16. Archambault led that team in scoring.