Former University of Maine hockey left winger Eduards Tralmaks was disappointed when the American Hockey League’s Providence Bruins sent him down to the ECHL’s Maine Mariners in Portland.
But he understood it. He said he didn’t have as productive a training camp as he would have liked.
It took him just one game and a hat trick to be recalled by Providence.
Tralmaks scored three goals in his ECHL debut on Friday night, a 6-3 win over Worcester, and when he went to the rink the next morning with the rest of the team, Mariners head coach and former UMaine player and assistant coach Ben Guite told him he was headed back to Providence.
“I was a little bit surprised. I knew I would be going back to Providence but not that fast,” Tralmaks said. “I knew they would be looking at me. I had a good game and I think there were some injuries in Boston so some [Providence] guys got sent up to Boston.”
Jack Studnicka, son of former UMaine center Todd Studnicka, and Oskar Steen got called up by Boston.
Tralmaks played for Providence in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Springfield and was held scoreless.
The 24-year-old Tralmaks signed with Providence after the COVID-19-abbreviated college season last spring and appeared in eight games, notching two goals and two assists.
He spent some time at training camp with the Boston Bruins this fall, was sent to Providence’s camp and, finally, to the Mariners’ training camp.
At the Boston Bruins’ camp, he had one session in a group with their top line of Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.
“I saw how good they are and I’m retaining everything from them,” Tralmaks said.
He observed their professionalism and attention to detail.
“It was motivating. It makes you want to keep pushing,” he added.
He played three exhibition games for the Providence Bruins and admitted that he didn’t do as well as he had hoped.
“I should have done better. It probably cost me a spot on [Providence’s] opening game roster. They brought in a lot of forwards. It was tough to crack the roster.”
He said being sent down to the Mariners was a “wake-up call” to look at his expectations of himself.
“But Maine is probably the best place to play in the ECHL. The players and the coaches are great. I knew I needed to get better,” said Tralmaks, who had 39 goals and 43 assists for 82 points in 119 career games at UMaine.
He said Guite was very helpful to him when he was with the Mariners and he is regaining his confidence.
He loves the Boston organization and pointed out that he spent three seasons with the Boston Bandits Junior team after coming to America from Riga, Latvia, when he was 16. It was a natural fit for him to sign with the Bruins organization.
The 6-foot-4, 209-pound Tralmaks knows what he needs to do to reach the NHL level.
“I have to play the power forward game. Be strong on pucks and get to the front of the net. I’ve got to score some dirty goals,” he said.