Contributor: Kirk Estes
Roman Uchyn came to the Brahmas last season at the trade deadline as part of a roster shakeup with an eye to the 2014/15 season. In exchange for Uchyn the Brahmas sent a second round pick (#29 overall) in the 2014 NAHL Entry Draft to the Coulee Region Chill. The move added some much needed experience and grit to the Brahmas offense.
Uchyn started his NAHL career with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays to open the 2012/13 season before earning a mid season call up to the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL. At the time of the call up then Ice Rays Head Coach Justin Quenville said “Roman drew a lot of attention early in the season and has developed well of late, when he plays his style as a power forward, he has the ability to play at any level.” Roman put up 12 points and 85 PIMs in 35 games for the Buccaneers. Things were looking promising for Uchyn heading into last season and he once again secured a spot on the Des Moines roster, but suffered an upper body injury that caused him to miss the first two months of the season. He returned to the lineup in early November, but was the odd man out in a crowded forward rotation and was dealt to Coulee Region after 19 games.
The Brahmas coaching staff seized on the opportunity to bring Uchyn to North Texas and called on his leadership ability by naming him as an Alternate Captain. At the time, Head Coach Dan Wildfong had a lot of praise for Uchyn. “He brings toughness,” explained Wildfong. He’s got a lot of speed. Deceptive speed. He doesn’t look like a Burner out there, but he is at ease with the puck.” Wildfong went on to say, “He is a big guy and he is solid. When you are hard to play against teams don’t want to play against you and those are the guys we want to have here.” If the A on his chest placed any added pressure on him, Uchyn did not let it affect his play. “Anyone can be a leader,” he stated. “A letter just gives you a little more responsibility which is just extra motivation to help out the team.” And help the team he did. Prior to the trade deadline moves the Brahmas’ winning percentage was .352% and they were averaging 2.14 goals per game. Over the last two months of the regular season the goals per game jumped to 2.63 and the winning percentage climbed to .594%.