FAIRBANKS — Jarret Granberg doesn’t marvel that he’s in a three-way tie for the scoring lead for the Alaska Nanooks.
It’s rare for the senior left wing to be a scoring leader for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association program. The 5-foot-7, 152-pound standout from Foremost, Alberta, has contributed five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in 24 games this season.
Granberg shares the Nanooks scoring lead with freshman center and linemate Tyler Morley, who has 9-8-17 totals, and senior right wing Andy Taranto (8-9-17). Morley and Taranto have played in every game this season for Alaska.
Granberg sees his status as business as usual and he’s just doing his job for the sixth-place Nanooks (10-9-3-1 CCHA, 12-10-4 overall).
“We all come from (junior) leagues where we’ve been at the top of the scoring lead,” Granberg said after Wednesday morning’s practice at the Carlson Center, where the Nanooks play host to the Ohio State Buckeyes in a CCHA series at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Before he came to the University of Alaska Fairbanks to work for a business administration degree and skate for the Nanooks, Granberg compiled 204 points (95 goals and 109 assists) in 166 games during three seasons with the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He produced a 42-44-86 scoring line in 60 games in his final season with Brooks.
“I’ve always thought of myself as being that kind of guy (with the Nanooks), but in past years I haven’t had the results,” Granberg said.
“Those last few years I was doing my job in other ways and adding value,” Granberg said. “So now, I think by putting some points up and helping the guys out that way, you go out there and do your job and I guess that’s just a reward for playing well.”
The 24-year-old has 62 career points (31 goals and 31 assists) in 131 games as a Nanook.
Nanooks head coach Dallas Ferguson sees Granberg’s statistics this season but more importantly, he sees a player who competes well in all three zones of the ice — defensive, neutral zone and offensive.
“He’s got real good hockey sense,” Ferguson said. “He’s got ability to make plays and when he’s got his feet moving, he’s a very effective player because he’s got good speed and he can make plays at a good speed.
“He’s always been a committed player, he’s always worked hard, and he’s always been a 200-foot player,” Ferguson said.
Two hundred feet is the length of a regulation or Olympic-size sheet of ice. The Carlson Center has Olympic-size ice (200 long by 100 wide).
Senior right wing Nik Yaremchuk, who has skated on a line with Granberg since their freshman season, has seen Granberg grow as a Nanook.
“He’s gotten a lot stronger and he’s become a leader on this team,” said Yaremchuk, who is from St. Albert, Alberta, and also is a business administration major, sharing some classes with Granberg.
“He’s always been an important player on our team and he’s finally getting the points he deserves this year,” Yaremchuk added.
• Sophomore Trevor Campbell, the Nanooks’ leading scorer among defensemen, is sidelined with an injury.
Campbell sustained a torn ligament after getting checked during Friday’s 4-1 loss at Miami (Ohio).
“I was going for a rebound and I just got hit kind of awkwardly,” Campbell, who is on crutches, said after Wednesday’s practice. “It shouldn’t have happened. It was the same knee I tweaked at Michigan (Jan. 11-12) and I think it (the hit) may have loosened it up a bit.”
Campbell provided the Nanooks’ only goal during the second period Friday, assisted by Morley.
Campbell, who has 2-14-16 totals in 25 games this season, ranks fifth in scoring for Alaska.
• The coaches luncheon, featuring Ferguson and Ohio State head coach Mark Osiecki, is scheduled for noon Friday in the Pioneer Room of the Carlson Center. The cost is $15 per person and the menu is mozzarella chicken and potato medley.
• The Alaska Nanooks women’s club hockey team is ranked first in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Women’s Division II West Region. The rankings for the 11-team region were announced Tuesday, and the Nanooks, at 6-0-2, are its only unbeaten team.