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Waterloo Black Hawks excited about depth of roster heading into 2022-23 season

Head coach Matt Smaby says he doesn't see their group having one top line or one bottom line and the balance they have across their lineup is exciting.

Waterloo Black Hawks goaltender Emmett Croteau was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the sixth round of the 2022 NHL Draft. He is committed to Clarkson University.
David Samson / The Forum

WATERLOO, Iowa — The Waterloo Black Hawks made a push in the 2022 Clark Cup playoffs as the sixth seed in the Western Conference as they upset third-seeded Lincoln to advance to the second round, where they ultimately fell to the defending Clark Cup champions, the Sioux City Musketeers.

With the guys they have coming back and the new faces they're bringing in, it has the coaching staff excited for the group they are working with heading into the new season.

"I think if you look at our group we're pretty deep, that's how we're projecting our group to be," said head coach Matt Smaby, a former University of North Dakota and NHL defenseman. "We're looking at a group of players that's gonna be pretty balanced throughout our lineup which is an exciting thing. As we kind of start to look at players and lines I think we don't necessarily see our group as having one top line and one bottom line."

2021-22 Season

Last year the Black Hawks compiled a 28-30-0-4 record and made it to the second round of the Clark Cup playoffs where they fall to Sioux City. Garrett Schifsky led the team with 28 goals and 18 assists for 46 points in 60 games played.


Offseason Moves

  • Former Waterloo Black Hawk Brett Olson returned to the organization as he was hired as an assistant coach
  • Defenseman Sam Rinzel was drafted in the first round of the NHL Draft
  • Goaltender Emmett Croteau became the first goalie drafted for the Black Hawks since Jared Moe in 2018. He was selected 162nd overall by the Montreal Canadiens.

Key Players

Sam Rinzel will be a force to be reckoned with on the Black Hawks blue line. He was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks 25th overall at the 2022 NHL Draft. He had 38 points in 27 games for Chaska (Minn.) High School last season, and played 21 games for Waterloo last year and posted 10 points.

Emmett Croteau comes into this season after being drafted by the Montreal Canadiens at the 2022 NHL Draft. Last year he had a 3.00 GAA and a .899 save percentage. In the playoffs, he played six games and had a GAA of 2.71 and a save percentage of .913.

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Keith McInnis was the first rookie signed to a tender back in April. The 16-year-old defenseman played 24 games for Yale Hockey Academy U18 Prep last season where he posted one goal and nine assists.

Garrett Schifsky led the Black Hawks last season in points with 46 and also led the team in goals and assists. The Michigan commit will be returning to the squad this season.

Arena Notes

The Black Hawks play at Young Arena in downtown Waterloo. The arena seats 2,921 but can hold around 3,500 fans. The Black Hawks played their first game at the arena in January 1995.


Waterloo will open its season on Sept. 24 in Pittsburgh against the Youngstown Phantoms at the Dicks Sporting Goods Fall Classic.

Kirsten Krull covers juniors and prospects for The Rink Live. She is a 2020 St. Cloud State graduate, and has been working in the hockey world for over six years, covering many levels of the game from juniors to the NHL.
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