Shane Omdahl is, unquestionably, one of the state’s top returning forwards for the coming high school season.
But the Roseau senior isn’t perfect.
His biggest fault?
“It would maybe be he passes too much,” Roseau coach Andy Lundbohm said. “Can you imagine that?”
When it comes to assessing his game, Omdahl will tell you a different story. He says he needs to become faster.
For a guy with so many “flaws,” Omdahl isn’t a bad player. His 69 points last season ranks fifth among all returning players.
Omdahl is in his second season playing in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League. Last year he made the roster for one of the league’s two Minnesota teams in the season-ending invitational tournament. That’s a feat he would like to repeat, and by scoring 10 seconds into his first Elite League game this fall, he would appear to be well on his way.
The Hockey Hub recently caught up with Omdahl and asked him about life in Roseau, getting up close with the Stanley Cup and the best way to kill time during those long, long car rides from Roseau to the Twin Cities.
Question: What is the best part about being a hockey player growing up in Roseau?
Answer: Probably all the free ice time. We get ice time whenever we want, pretty much. We’ve got the three rinks. The North Rink is always open. We can go there at 1 o’clock in the morning if we wanted to, get a little game.
Q: Do you ever go there at 1 o’clock in the morning?
A: We have a couple of times. It’s pretty fun. We get a bunch of guys. We don’t have a lot of goalies that want to play.
Q: What is the worst part about a being a hockey player growing up in Roseau?
A: There’s not much to do up there other than play hockey, I guess. We’ve got one video (rental) place, one movie theatre, one bowling alley and that’s probably about it for what you get to do around there in the winter.
Q: We’ve heard that there will be five goalies trying to earn spots on the varsity this season. What’s with all the netminders going through the program right now? Was there a big sale on goalie gear in town 10 years ago?
A: Ace might have had a sale, I don’t know. We don’t have any in my grade, the senior grade. All juniors pretty much. I think one is coming up from Bantams. That’s about it. They’ve all been pretty good. They’ve all switched off. Hopefully one of them can step it up this year and be our starting tender.
Q: Name the one team Roseau simply HAS to beat every season.
A: Warroad and Moorhead for sure.
Q: That’s two teams.
A: Warroad, then. They are our bigger rival.
Q: Finish this sentence: If Roseau doesn’t make it to the state tournament …
A: … that would just be terrible.
Q: What will it take for Roseau to reach the state tournament this season?
A: We’ve got to have good goaltending and good defensive play. We’ve got a lot of offense, I think, coming back.
Q: We’ve heard you have a pretty wicked shot. How much time have you put in working on it?
A: I go out to the North rink there during the summer. I just go shoot pucks, trying to get it perfected.
Q: What advice would you give to young players who want to play at a high level?
A: Just go work out, go do (plyometrics), do all that stuff, try and get faster. I wish I would have gotten a little faster. I need to get faster still.
Q: Dustin Byfuglien brought the Stanley Cup to Roseau this summer. Did you get a chance to see the Cup up close?
A: I think it was $10 to go get a picture with him and an autograph and all that. I went up there. I know him pretty well. I go golfing with him sometimes in the summer. He played with my brother in Roseau when he was a Bantam and in Pee Wees.
Q: Who is a better golfer, you or Dustin?
A: I don’t know. He can hit it a lot farther than me. I don’t know.
Q: How does the Elite League make you a better player?
A: Just the fast pace. Everyone is pretty good here. Actually, everyone is really good here. You’ve just got to step it up every time you are on the ice or else you are going to look like a fool out there.
Q: What do you do best on the ice?
A: I’d probably say just seeing the ice. I know where a lot of people are all the time.
Q: How do you kill time in the car driving to the Twin Cities for the Elite League games?
A: By sleeping. Sometimes by watching a movie. Sleeping is pretty good.
Upper Midwest High School Elite League Team: Great Plains
Height: 5-foot-10 1/2
Credentials: Omdahl had 27 goals and 42 assists in 31 games last season as the top scorer on a Rams team that reached the state Class AA tournament. He's the fifth highest scorer among players returning for the 2010-11 high school season. Omdahl is in his second season playing in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League. Last year, he was selected to play on one of two Minnesota teams in the league's season-ending invitational tournament. This season, through three games, he shares the Great Plains goal-scoring lead with two and also is tied for the most points on the team with three.
College committment: None. Bemidji State is showing interest, as is Colorado College. "Hopefully they like me, or someone else likes me, and they come pick me up," Omdahl said.
Go to bands in your iPod: Chelsea Dagger (by the Fratellis). It’s the Chicago Blackhawks’ goal song.
Fighting Sioux or Gophers? I like the Sioux. Up north there, we’re closer to the Sioux.
Crosby or Ovechkin? I guess I like Ovechkin a little better.
Hunting or fishing? Hunting for sure. I go hunting all the time.
Twins or Vikings? That’s a tough one. I’ll go with the Twins.
Steak or seafood? Steak. Nothing better than a good steak.
Strength or staminia? When you get to higher levels, strength is (more important).
Favorite home-cooked meal: Probably, lasagna. My mom makes pretty good lasagna.
Fast-food addiction: I guess I don’t really have any.
Movie you could watch a 1,000 times: Probably Miracle. That’s a good one.
Movie you never want to watch again: Brokeback Mountain.
Favorite subject in school: I like math a little bit.
Last book you read: I forgot the name of it. Something in school.
Foreign country you would love to visit (Canada doesn’t count): Probably Europe. I would love to go over there and see all the sights.