Anmol Garcha of the Princeton Posse has had an impressive rookie season/Hanna Gould Photo
Anmol Garcha was “having a rookie of the year season” as his Princeton Posse Head Coach Mark Readman put it before breaking his hand early against the Summerland Steam on Dec. 10.
Garcha, 18, managed to play through the injury and had a goal and four points, including setting up linemate Jaden Fodchuk for the winner in a 7-6 victory over the Steam. He recently had surgery to repair the hand and will return at the end of January.
The Sherwood Park Oilers U18 AA grad felt he was playing pretty good, though he said it helps “when you’re playing with pretty good players every night.” Garcha mostly plays with Fodchuk and Sean Mitchell and has six goals and 28 points in 22 games for a 1.27 points-per-game average.
Among his rookie peers, Garcha is tied for the league lead in points with Fodchuk, but he is the assist leader at 22 with the next closest being Ethan McKinley of the Osoyoos Coyotes at 17. Putting up points isn’t new to Garcha as he did that while playing and developing in the Sherwood Park Kings Athletic Club and he considers himself a versatile playmaker.
“I can do whatever the team needs me to do,” he says. “The goalscoring, I only have six goals, but that just comes with time. I’ve gotten chances, I haven’t put them in. Playmaking is my strong point as I move the puck well and see guys pretty well too.”
He would like to add a goal-scoring element to his game and with the Sherwood Park Senators 15AA program, he had 20 goals in 30 games, which was second on the team. He praises the coaches he had for helping him improve each year. Since joining the Posse, another adjustment Garcha has made is playing more physically, despite that side never being part of how he plays. Again, it comes back to him doing what he needs for the team.
“I can have a bit of a physical presence. I think that is the biggest change,” he says. “I think I have been able to handle that pretty well.”
And he feels that has earned him respect from his teammates because he’s not known as a big hitter.
“I’m not scared of contact. I can take it,” says Garcha who lists Sidney Crosby and Nicklas Backstrom as his favourite players. “It comes with age and maturity.”
Garcha came to Princeton after attending the training camp of the SJHL Kindersley Klippers. He decided to sign with the KIJHL organization because some of his best friends signed in Princeton and he felt it would be a good experience and fun to play with them.
“I came to the KIJHL because it would be a good year of development for me and also get me to the next level next year,” says Garcha, who signed with the SJHL’s La Ronge Ice Wolves for next season.
There was an adjustment period for him saying that pace seemed a bit slower compared to the Klippers program.
“Once I got into it, I’ve been pretty good. It’s pretty good hockey,” says Garcha, who
has been held pointless in four games and is on a six-game streak with 13 points.
Readman says that Garcha is a “one-of-a-kind personality.”
“He is an exceptionally well liked teammate. He never cheats on work ethic,” says Readman. “He is always working super hard in practice to get better. His success is a testament to the hard work put in.”