Secret Weapon?

Could Robert Lachowicz be Panthers diamond in the rough?

Many seem to think that the signing of Robert Lachowicz from Manchester Phoenix would lead to the local youngster spending much of his time riding the pine. Personally I don’t see it that way at all. What I’ve seen of Lachowicz in his career so far has impressed me greatly. In Sheffield at Christmas last season he was outstanding playing on a line with Cameron Mann and Sean McAslan, whenever he as iced for Panthers he has never looked out of place in my opinion.
I asked for some opinions on Lachowicz from fans of his former club Manchester. Some of the comments were:

“Good hard working young man who is still learning his trade. Never slow to jump into play and I suspect he learned a lot working with TH last season”
“Has the talent and the work ethic to go very far”
“Good hands, good shot, good speed, good work ethic”
“Showed great potential with Phoenix last year and I think he will become a great player in the future. Hope he gets a decent amount of ice time at Panthers to continue his development.”
“Great young talent, who will be one to watch in the future just hope Neilson gives him enough ice time to develop. Lacho’s weakness is his ability to play the body and take the checks but that will come.”

Encouraging, but there were a few negative comments, mainly relating to inconsistency and being ‘overrated’. Another common theme was the Phoenix fans saying he should have spent another season in the EPL, a valid opinion and one I shared when he was signed, but having thought about it I feel he is good enough to play at Elite League level if given the ice time.

Even coach Corey Neilson was praising him after the challenge game with Tilburg, describing his performance as ‘excellent’ and adding “He has that first-step speed and took a good spot on the power-play.” His power play was something I was discussing with another fan earlier this week, something he reckoned could be a permanent fixture throughout the season.

Keep an eye on Lachowicz throughout the season, I have a feeling he could be a key player.

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