Poturalski Refreshed, Looking Forward to a Second ChanceOct 15, 2020
By AJ Manderichio/SanDiegoGulls.com
Andrew Poturalski is eager for a second chance.
An injury-plagued 2019-20 season held the right wing to just 17 games with the San Diego Gulls, his first in the Anaheim Ducks organization. Coming off an incredible 2019 Calder Cup run with the Charlotte Checkers – one where he earned MVP honors and posted 23 points (12g/11a) in 18 playoff games.
The Buffalo, N.Y. native recently signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Ducks, keeping him in the organization for a second consecutive season. With an offseason to get fully healthy, he’s ready for another opportunity to make an impression.
“For me, I didn’t get to show anything last year and never really got going, it was just a couple of five game segments or whatever,” he told the media during a recent Zoom interview. “I’m definitely really hungry to get back out there and get going. Everyone has been off since March but I feel like I’ve been off since last November. It’s just a lot of extra motivation and stuff to do in the gym. Just coming to camp with a little chip on your shoulder and just show everyone what I can do.”
Poturalski praised the organization and identified the up-and-coming talent as a major reason why he’s back for another season.
“I’m definitely really excited to rejoin the organization,” he said. “It feels like from the top down, there’s so much talent here and a bunch of opportunity for guys to jump right into that lineup in Anaheim. That’s all that a guy like me can really look for – opportunity. Go into camp and do everything that I can do and give my best shot to make that team and just be a part of that up-and-coming organization with all that talent. It will definitely be a lot of fun.”
When discussing the impact of a coach like Kevin Dineen, Poturalski lauded his ability to prepare his players to take the next steps in their careers.
“It was a tough year with me being hurt for most of the year, but coach Dineen runs a tight ship and is definitely a good, old-school coach,” he explained. “He’s really honest with his players and prepares everybody in the right way which is all you can ask for in a coach. He gives you all the feedback that you need and would want. With him trying to mold all the players and get them ready for Anaheim and eventually getting called up, he’s a great fit for us and is a pleasure to play for.”
Soon after the pandemic halted the American Hockey League season, Poturalski returned to his offseason home in the Buffalo area, taking time off to heal his various injuries. He kept constant communication with both the Ducks and Gulls strength coaches and trainers, putting together a comprehensive rehabilitation and workout program.
The team also sent him clips of players in the National Hockey League’s bubble to study, incorporating some of their style into his game.
In between these training sessions and his preparation for a new season, Poturalski reached another major life milestone – getting married to his wife, Haley. The two also adopted a dog at the start ofjust prior to the pandemic, a German Shepherd named Kemba. A small pup at first, the dog now weighs close to 70 pounds.
“It’s been good to be with him and train him, and just spend time with family and be at home,” Poturalski said. “I bought a house last summer and I had to leave four days after we closed on it to go to training camp. To be at home and spend time at home and do things in the fall - and I haven’t been home in the fall in eight years - so just taking those things and enjoying them while I can and being ready to get back to hockey.”
Joe Spurrier and Andy Zilch contributed to this news story.