He’s the oldest starting defenseman on the Michigan hockey team. He shares the team’s assist lead with senior Chad Kolarik.

And he just won CCHA Rookie of the Week honors.

Read that again – it’s not a typo. Freshman Chad Langlais has five assists in his past three games and six on the season. More important, he’s a big reason why Michigan’s power play boasts 10 man-advantage scores in eight games.

First thing that comes to mind about Langlais’s power-play impact?

“It’s been unbelievable,” said usually reserved captain Kevin Porter, who scored on half of Langlais’s dishes this weekend. “He’s a great passer. He gets his head up. He’s got a quick shot. So far, he’s been great.”

Though being a freshman on Michigan’s power play isn’t unique on this team (there are three), the amount of responsibility he bears as the only defenseman on the ice during man-advantage situations is considerable.

“He’s the top guy on our power play,” Porter said. “He’s the quarterback, he sets it up. (When) we get in the zone, he’s the key guy, so he’s the one making all of the plays. He’s a big part of our success.”

The 21-year-old spent the past two years in the United States Hockey League (a top junior hockey league), and those were key in developing Langlais’s confidence with the puck. In particular, the freshman spent time developing his skills on the power play with the Lincoln Stars last year.

His two years of playing experience made him a desirable contributor to this year’s one-upperclassman-strong defensive unit.

Of the four first-year defensemen, Langlais is the only one who has played every game. The other three, all still teenagers, rotate the games they get to dress.

“He plays like a senior out there,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “He’s so calm and patient and poised with the puck.”

It’s not just his man-advantage play or his assist-firing stick that’s been apart of the offensive-defensman’s impact, either. On the defensive end, he’s brought a physical presence (team-leading six penalties) despite his short stature (5-foot-8). And even though no NHL team yet holds his rights, Berenson said Langlais has exceeded expectations.

Sophomore Steve Kampfer, Langlais’s defensive partner, has also seen him seamlessly fit into his position on the only defensive unit without first-round NHL talent.

“He’s an old freshman,” Kampfer said. “He knows what he’s doing. Two years in the USHL really helped him. He’s a premiere defenseman on this team, and he showed it these first eight games.”

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