Incoming Spartan hockey defensemen Brock Krygier gave a seven-word answer no Michigan Stater ever wants to hear from one of his or her own:Â â€œI always liked Michigan State and Michigan.â€Â It is not difficult to figure out where the problem comes in.
The freshman quickly corrects himself, though.Â Â â€œNow, Iâ€™m all for Michigan State.Â No Michigan anymore.â€
MSUâ€™s Tom Anastos has been a major factor in his sudden shift of alliance.Â Â â€œHeâ€™s just a great guy,â€ Krygier says of his new coach.Â â€œHeâ€™s a great leader who can really advocate what he wants us to do in terms of systems and hard work.â€Â Â These are important characteristics for a student-athlete like Krygier, who places the highest importance on hard work and a positive attitude.Â His hard work ethic crosses over into other areas of his life, too, including the classroom.Â He plans to major in engineering.
For him, school and hockey are both all about consistency.Â Â â€œOn the ice, Iâ€™m a stay at home defenseman. Â I like toÂ keep the play in front of me and just make sure I donâ€™t have any turnovers. Â I just move it up and keep it simple.â€Â Â His work ethic mirrors that of the professional player Krygier says he tries to most emulate: Nicklas Lidstrom, the seven-time Norris trophy winner and four-time Stanley Cup champion who announced his retirement from the Detroit Red Wings earlier this summer.Â Â â€œI like his style and have always watched him to learn for my own game.â€
Â And Lidstrom has not been the only NHL player Krygier has been able to look up to growing up.Â His father, Todd Krygier, was a teammate of MSU assistant coachÂ Kelly MillerÂ and incoming freshman forward David Bondraâ€™s father, Peter, while with the Washington Capitals in the nineties.
In hope of someday reaching that level, Krygier says he has spent the summer in the weight room.Â Â â€œIâ€™ve just been working on gaining weight and strength,â€ he says.Â â€œIâ€™ve really appreciated (strength and conditioning coach Mike Vorkapich).Â He really pushes us and helps us with what to eat as well as workouts.â€
He is enjoying living on campus, as well.Â Â â€œI like the freedom and being on my own schedule,â€ he says.Â Iâ€™m starting to get in the groove of workouts in the morning and then tutoring later. Â Weâ€™re spending quite a bit of time over (in the Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete Academic Center). Â Itâ€™s good to get in there and just focus without distractions.â€
The Novi, Michigan native looks forward to school starting, though, and says he has a lot of friends from home coming to MSU in the fall.Â Â Â â€œTheyâ€™ve already beenÂ talking to me about coming to games!â€Â Â The close proximity to home will be helpful for his out-of-state teammates, as well, who will likely travel home with him for holiday meals.Â Â He says his mom is well-prepared to cook for the whole group.Â Â â€œSheâ€™s a great cook!â€ he says.
It looks like his teammates, as well as all Spartan fans, can be happy this young man finally declared an allegiance to just one of his home-state schools.