T.J. Oshie’s meteoric rise to the NHL

T.J. Oshie’s roots are in Everett, but his blossoming hockey career has since taken him to high school in Minnesota, college in North Dakota, and now a professional career that began last fall in St. Louis.

The 22-year-old Oshie, a finalist for The Herald’s Man of the Year in Sports award, began 2008 at the University of North Dakota, where he was finishing his junior season of college hockey.

And what a season it was. Oshie, who played center and wing for the Fighting Sioux, led the team in scoring with 18 goals and 27 assists in 42 games, and was a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, the Heisman Trophy of college hockey.

Oshie, who attended Everett’s Lowell Elementary and Evergreen Middle School before moving to Stanwood and then to Minnesota (his mother and sister still live in Stanwood), was also named a college hockey All-American in 2008. In the spring, he helped his team to the NCAA Frozen Four tournament, where North Dakota lost in the semifinals.

After the season, Oshie opted to sign with St. Louis, which had drafted him in the first round of the 2005 NHL draft after his senior year of high school. He made the team out of training camp last fall, but ended up missing almost eight weeks of the team’s early-season schedule with a high ankle sprain.

But the Blues have already seen enough to know that Oshie is a big part of the team’s future plans. He is an elusive skater with speed over open ice, and he is deft with the stick to create scoring chances for both himself and his teammates.

Blues president John Davidson has called Oshie “a bundle of energy with a great deal of skill. He’s a breath of fresh air, he really is.”

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