July 04, 2012

Bubba Berenzweig

Bubba Berenzweig, known as Andrew to his mother and a select few others, was a 5th round draft choice of the New York Islanders in 1996. The 6'2" and 215lb defenseman from Arlington Heights, Illinois showed a penchant for offense at Loomis Chaffee Prep School just outside of Hartford. 

Credit the Islanders for finding a diamond in the rough. A bit of a late bloomer, Berenzweig went on to improve his game at the University of Michigan over a four year college career. Legendary coach Red Berenson was able to round out of Berenzweig's game into that of a solid, all-around player.

However the Islanders management tried rushing this player. After Berenzweig helped the Wolverines win a NCAA title in his first year, the Isles wanted him to leave school and turn professional. But Berenzweig had other goals in mind first, and he would never regret his decision to stay true to himself. He stayed in school. He earned his degree. He became captain of one of hockey's most legendary NCAA teams. He won a national title. 

The Islanders eventually gave up on Berenzweig, trading him in his final year of school (1998-99) to the Nashville Predators. It seemed like a nice fit - the young Predators needed all the blue line help they could get and the marketing department probably didn't mind having a player with a name better fitted for NASCAR or football.

Ultimately Bubba Berenzweig's NHL career was short. He played in 37 NHL games, spread over 4 seasons, all with Nashville. He scored 3 goals and 10 points. 

Bubba Berenzweig has since gotten into the insurance business.

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