By Ross Forman – Andrew Rubin has some large skates to fill and follow: his older brother David and his dad, Larry, both of whom have skated for Glenbrook North.
And Andrew is doing just fine, thank you.
“Andrew’s hockey IQ is off the chart,” said GBN head coach Evan Poulakidas. “Combine that with his skill level and will-to-win, and you have an elite-(level) player.
“What’s more is the fact that he is such a team leader, on and off the ice. He makes everyone around him better.”
Andrew, 17, a Northbrook resident, is a senior for the Spartans in his third season on varsity, sporting uniform No. 10 – the same number he also wears as GBN’s starting second baseman for its baseball team. He is a right-handed-shooting center who honed his skills while skating for the Northbrook Bluehawks.
“It was a great season for our team, but the final four of the state tournament getting cancelled (this past March) was devastating,” Rubin said. “I truly believe we were playing our best hockey at the time, and we had just as good of a shot as anyone to win it all.”
So now Rubin and the Spartans are focused on another successful season when the 2020-21 campaign kicks off. His goals are high: “Lead (the) team to the state championship, (the) Scholastic Hockey League Championship, and every tournament we play in.”
Rubin certainly is a leading candidate for many of the post-season individual honors, including All-State, All-SHL and more.
He is, though, more centered on team accolades than individual honors. “I would like to be the best teammate I can be, especially during the tough times we are in right now,” he said.
Rubin’s game is one of strategy, creativity, and a high skill level. He almost always is in the right place at the right time.
Such as the time he scored the game-winning goal in the Holiday Hockey Tournament as a sophomore against perennial power New Trier Green.
“My commitment to the weight room has prepared me to take even more strides then I did last year. I also have gained more confidence in myself and my game,” Rubin said.
The Spartans have several key returners in addition to Rubin, such as Everett Levin, Daniel Wilcox, and Matt Carr. And he said the newcomers “will contribute right away.”
“I feel we are able to compete with anyone in the state with our team’s combination of skill, speed, and chemistry,” Rubin said.
“I don’t feel any pressure (for this season) as this is exactly what I have been preparing for ever since I was a little kid. I know that the players and coaches around me have my back, no matter what. This is going to be a memorable season.”
Rubin added: “I take a lot of pride in my Hockey IQ because no skill can save me if I am in the wrong position. Just by putting myself in the best position possible I will be able to be more successful. My vision and my shot are two things that compliment very well with my Hockey IQ.
“When I am in any sort of competition, I am always very competitive. I’m the type of person who hates to lose more than I like to win.”
No doubt it’s a drive passed through his family. “Watching my brother David play and lead was a huge influence on me,” Andrew said. “I emulate my game after him, and he is an inspiration to me and a person I look up to.
“My dad is always honest with me after every game, good and bad, which has paid huge dividends for me.”
And Larry has given the best advice Andrew has ever gotten. Larry always says: ‘Remember the most important thing is, to have fun.’
David, now 20, played three years of varsity hockey for GBN and is now playing baseball at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Larry, who played two years of varsity hockey for GBN, is now an ever-present cheerleader of sorts at Spartan games.
“Baseball helps me a ton for hockey as baseball teaches me how to deal with failure and respond positively. Hockey helps me bring intensity into every pitch of a baseball game,” said Rubin, who plans on majoring in engineering in college and wants to continue playing either sport at the next level.
“Ever since our season ended abruptly (this past March) after beating Loyola Gold in the Elite Eight, all I have thought about was getting back on the ice. With the returning players we have, along with some key additions, I believe we can compete with anyone in the state. It is obviously tough with the season on hold, but when we get the green light to play, I will be ready.”
Slapshots With … Andrew Rubin
Favorite NHL Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Favorite NHL player: Connor McDavid
Favorite Sports-themed Movie: Miracle
Favorite pregame meal: Pasta
Celebrity you’d most like to meet: Michael Jordan
Teammate who you could you see, someday, as a hockey coach: Kyle Burke
Hardest slapshot on your team: Sam Levin
Most accurate shot on your team: Robert Sasaki
Fastest skater on your team: Jack Hardesty
Best HS jerseys (other than GBN): St. Ignatius
Ross Forman has written about Illinois high school hockey for more than 15 years and is the only sportswriter to have covered Illinois High School hockey every year during that stretch. He played locally and then at Indiana University before becoming a referee. Ross was a referee for the State Championship game several years ago at the United Center. Contact Ross by email at Rossco814@aol.com.