Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Birthday, Cody Goloubef

Loyal reader Gandalf pointed out that today is Cody's 18th birthday. Happy Birthday, Cody!

In honor of Cody's birthday, I thought I'd pull out this little tribute to Cody that I posted on Buckyville during the offseason after the draft.

Cody is too young to be in this year’s draft, and he’s always been just a little bit in Brendan Smith’s shadow. So he’s flying a tad under the radar, and we haven’t heard much about him lately . . . So, let’s go ahead and take a look at our young Mr. Goloubef . . .

Goloubef played with fellow Badger recruit Brendan Smith and and former Badger recruit Sam Gagner with the Toronto Marlies, where, like I said, he was always a bit in fellow-defensman Smith’s shadow. I don’t really have much info about this, except that his +/- was a crazy +117.

While Smith went off to St. Mike’s Buzzers, Goloubef went on to play for the Milton Ice Hawks for the ’05-’06 season. In 42 games, he scored 9 goals and 29 assists for 38 points. I don’t know what his final +/- was, but you can rest assured that it was very good. Regarding his +/-, he said “That’s something I’m particularly proud of.”

HERE and HERE are a couple of really nice articles about Cody from when he played for the Ice Hawks. (Edit: The first link appears to no longer work. I'll dig around and see if I can find the article again.)

One of the youngest players in the league and playing on one of the best teams in the league (they finished 1st in the regular season standing that year), he was one of Milton’s top defenseman. He sounds like a kid with a great attitude and a great work ethic, someone who’s always trying to learn how to improve his game. And he sounds like a smart defenseman. Before Goloubef added several inches and some weight (he’s 6’1, 195 now), Milton head coach/GM George Dupont said, “To be honest with you, I never questioned how (Cody) thought the game. But I always questioned whether he was going to have the size and strength to compete with the older players in our league.” Dupont also said, “Cody plays years beyond his age. He thinks the game at an elite level.” Goloubef’s blueline partner Jeff Caister added, "Sometimes you forget just how young he is. He's so calm out there, and because of that he makes smart decisions -- especially when he's got the puck."

Also during the ’05-’06 season, as noted by Heisenberg, Goloubef got a chance to step out of Smith’s shadow and did so “in a big way” by being named (along with Smith and Gagner) to Ontario’s U-17 team in the World U-17 Championships. Yay!

Cody then went on to play for the Oakville Blades of the OPJHL. He missed most of the season due to a hip injury, but in 9 regular season games he scored 5 goals and 5 assists for 10 points, and in 10 playoff games he scored 2 goals and 10 assists for 12 points.

In addition to Wisconsin, Goloubef was reportedly considering (in no particular order) Cornell, Notre Dame, BU, UNH, Maine, Miami, and Ohio State. Apparently Wisconsin wasn’t originally on his list, but he took an unofficial visit and liked what he saw. He narrowed things down to UW and BU, and obviously made the right decision.

He was also drafted in the 5th round by the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. But Cody decided that the NCAA route was better than the OHL route for him, saying “If I went to the Ontario Hockey league, when I was done playing hockey, playing pro, I’d have to go back and do university. The biggest pro for school was I could be doing those both at the same time, which was really attractive. ”

So ultimately, Cody chose the Badgers, saying he liked the UW coaches’ experience and track record. “Coach Eaves has played and coached at every level. Coach Eaves, Osiecki and coach Patrick have a history of getting you ready for the NHL and that's important to me." About committing with Gagner and Smith, he said, “We had an idea that we wanted to win the national championship together since we were younger. But we knew we had to do what was right for us. We all saw when we visited that Wisconsin offered what we needed to be successful individually, so that helped.” Of course, Gagner jumped ship, but Goloubef maintained his decision. At the time, his dad said, “Our decision was predicated on what's best for Cody. We reiterated that we were committed to Wisconsin.”

You can read a bit more about his committing to Wisconsin HERE, HERE, and HERE.

And last but not least, here’s what Mike Eaves has to say about Goloubef. “Cody is very solid. He sees the ice well and understands the game in terms of the reads that he gives you and is able to play with and without the puck very well.”