The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater announced today that the Avalanche signed two of their draft picks from Boston University in defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk and Colby Cohen. Both players were key members of Boston U’s 2009 National Championship team and are highly regarded prospects in the Avalanche system. Even more amazing still is that the goaltender of the title team, Kieran Millan, is also a Colorado draft pick.
What you may not realize is that there’s a decided college hockey feel to the organization. Don’t believe it? Check out these connections from the current Avs roster:
Paul Stastny – Denver University
T.J. Galiardi – Dartmouth College
Brandon Yip – Boston University
Matt Hendricks – St. Cloud State University
David Jones – Dartmouth College
Brett Clark – University of Maine
John-Michael Liles – Michigan State
Kevin Porter – University of Michigan
Chris Durno – Michigan Tech
Not currently on the roster are former Michigan standout T.J. Hensick, former Golden Gophers Ryan Stoa and Mike Carman, Northern Michigan’s Mark Olver and 2009 National Championship finalist Justin Mercier from Miami University.
Make no mistake about it, the Avalanche are making it a point to focus their attention on the college hockey scene of late and with the emergence of Brandon Yip (11 goals, 7 assists) and T.J. Galiardi (14 goals, 24 assists) this season, it’s paying dividends for the Avs. College hockey has already seen a great number of players signed away this season and with the level of play stepping up in recent years, it’s a trend that’s likely to continue.