Birkholz is another Fargo Force player who showed up as an A Player to Watch on Central Scouting’s draft list. A big power forward type, Birkholz is a 1991 birthdate but eligble for this June’s draft. As mentioned, Birkholz is your prototypical power forward with a bit of agitator thrown in. He is not shy about playing a physical game and seems to have a mouth to match it. The future Minnesota Golden Gopher is blessed with a hard shot that he will always follow to the net, hoping for rebounds or trouble.
Currently skating with Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge, Birkholz has put up 2-2-4 this year with Fargo in 9 games. The one interesting statistic to note is that he is averaging over 5 shots a game. In a recent game I witnessed, Birkholz was strong at both ends of the ice but was prone to taking a shift off from time to time, and in doing so looked disinterested.
In addition to his good shot, Birkholz is also a powerful skater who is able to beat defenders wide and is a force on his wing. He is more of a shooter than a passer, but has adequate playmaking abilities nonetheless. He is used in all situations in Fargo and uses his speed and size well on the PK. He won’t shy away physically and seems to love to hit, yet has managed to keep out of the penalty box, regisitering only 4 PIM’s this year. Birkholz does have some slick moves, but is more of a straight ahead skater. Though I mentioned his sometimes lackadaisical attitude, if he is engaged he can be a sound defensive player who is a good shot blocker.