Austin Czarnik (via YouTube)
Miami University's Austin Czarnik scored a goal that will be hard to top this season. After gathering a bouncing puck in Denver's end, Czarnik danced around the offensive zone for 15 seconds without being stripped of the puck and then buried a highlight-reel goal to put Miami ahead by a mile.
Miami University RedHawks captain Austin Czarnik hasn't been drafted, is eligible for NHL free agency and could sign with a pro team as soon as his season in the NCAA is up. If making the big leagues is his goal, Czarnik's Friday night tally against Denver is sure to make everyone notice him.
In the second frame of Miami's game against Denver, a bouncing puck landed inside the Pioneers zone and Czarnik was the first to the puck. With his back to the defenders, Czarnik shielded the puck, turned one way, turned the other, cut towards the blueline, pulled back down towards the goal line and then cut into the middle of the ice before burying a backhander for an amazing goal. You can check it out below:
All told, that was 15 seconds of Czarnik ragging the puck before putting another goal on the board for Miami.
The marker was Czarnik's ninth of the season, but with puck skills like that, it's hard to imagine scouts aren't fawning all over the chance to lock him up to a three-year, entry-level deal. Czarnik has the kind of skill -- and certainly the puck distributing ability with 33 assists in 38 games -- that could translate well to the professional game.
Over his college career with Miami, Czarnik has 46 goals and 166 points in 157 games. There will definitely be a handful of scouts showing this tally to management.