Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

One step at at time for Serville

D-man allowed to develop at his own pace

  • Print

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has so far held true to his philosophy -- the team's prospects will develop at their own pace and they will not be rushed, at least by him.

In any discussion about draft picks and potential future Jets, he never fails to utter the caution.

Brennan Serville will be thankful for it.

The defenceman from Pickering, Ont., a sophomore at the University of Michigan, had his name called by the Jets in the third round of 2011.

Instant fame

A slice of instant fame, being drafted by a Canadian NHL team, has since been sometimes an ordeal, sometimes an education.

"I had a long adjustment period," said Serville, who went from the Ontario Provincial Junior A league before the draft to college hockey last fall.

"Coming from (Tier II), obviously the game play is a lot slower and guys aren't as strong.

"I felt like near the end of last season I figured out my role and played the best I could in that role."

Serville's long-serving coach, Michigan's Red Berenson, didn't sugarcoat the transition.

"Brennan, I told Winnipeg last year, he's a project," Berenson said.

"He came here, he was weak and he was slow and he really struggled off and on here last year with the speed of the game and the strength of the players.

"I think he's learned a lot and he's just starting to show some glimpses of improvement.

"I think his skating is a little better and his work ethic is a little better and he's trying to play more physical. The one thing I've noticed is that he's making better outlet passes. But he's still got to get stronger, both from the waist down and waist up."

Serville, still growing at 6-3 and 202 pounds, is paired so far this season with senior and alternate captain Lee Moffie.

For much of the Wolverines' 3-1 home loss to Notre Dame on Thursday, Serville was barely noticeable apart from good passing choices, always a plus for a defenceman.

It wasn't always so, and the 19-year-old admitted there were stretches of discouragement last season.

"A little," he said. "Half-way through the season, I was battling to stay in the lineup. Obviously that gave me a lot more motivation and at the same time, I realized I was going to have to play a lot better than that if I wanted to do good."

In eight games so far this season (he missed a pair due to injury), Serville is pointless but a plus-four.

And with more ice time, some improved passing and a better idea of how to put his size to use, Serville is aware of another step forward.

"I'd say the biggest thing for me is confidence," he said.

"The players here are a little faster and stronger and a little better with the puck and in the D zone. So everything is baby steps for me until I'm ready to make the next jump."

Aware he had a long way to go, he stayed in Ann Arbor over the summer to concentrate on preparation.

"I trained with the guys here and that was good for me," he said.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 17, 2012 C4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Doug Speirs trains for role in Nutcracker

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.
  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who should get more playing time in Jets net?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google