Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- The name of former two-time All American Bill Watson has become almost synonymous with UMD hockey.
Now, as a volunteer assistant coach, he's excited for the stretch run this season with the Bulldogs.
"We just want to get back to where we were playing and maybe raise our level even more," Watson said, "then get into the playoffs."
Watson's extensive hockey resume extends into the NHL, where he played parts of four seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks.
"He's been in the game, he's coached the game, and he's been to the next level," junior defenseman Drew Olson said, "so he knows what he's talking about. We're really lucky to have him."
"It's definitely fun having him out there giving you little tips in between drills," sophomore forward J.T. Brown said. "He's a fun guy to have out on the ice; he's always trying to score, too. It's definitely a pleasure having him out there."
"He has little hints for me around the net, as far as getting body position," senior forward David Grun said. "If you watch him play, he's unbelievable around the net, still, so you learn from him off of that."
Watson won the Hobey Baker in the 1984-85 season, the same year he set a UMD record with 109 total points.
This year, he's mentoring another great Bulldogs scorer and Hobey Baker hopeful in senior captain Jack Connolly.
"I just wanted him to focus in on being the best player he could be, as well as being the captain and leader that he is on this team," Watson said of Connolly. "He's done everything we've ever asked of him."
As has Watson, who last season was a part of the first-ever NCAA national championship for the UMD men.