As the Avalanche look toward the 2012 NHL Entry Draft starting this Friday, it's time to take one last look at the 2011-12 season from a prospects perspective. Today, a look back at the prospects who suited up for college hockey clubs throughout the United States. Paul Carey capped off his college career with a NCAA championship and then proceeded to sign his first professional contract, but how did the remaining Avs college prospects perform this past season?
Paul Carey, Boston College (HE)
Drafted fifth round (135th overall), 2007 NHL Entry Draft
Paul Carey cannot say he didn't have a fruitful collegiate career. Not a star by most standards, Carey contributed 18 goals and 12 assists in 44 games during his senior season. It was his best year of college when it came to point production. The Massachusetts native displayed a strong nose for the net when he scored three times during the 2012 Frozen Four in Tampa, FL this past spring. Carey was named to the all-tournament team as BC won their fifth national championship.
He was also a member of the 2010 Boston College Eagles club that won the Frozen Four in Detroit. Following his team's defeat of Ferris State in the recent championship game, Carey agreed to terms with the Avalanche on an entry-level contract. He played in two games with the Lake Erie Monsters following BC's season and is expected to play a large role with the club during the 2012-13 season.
Nathan Condon, Minnesota (WCHA)
Drafted seventh round (200th overall), 2008 NHL Entry Draft
After compiling 17 points during his freshman season, Nathan Condon ended his sophomore campaign with the Gophers collecting 11 goals and 19 assists in 44 contests. Dangerous on the penalty kill, four of his tallies were short-handed. He was shifted throughout the lineup, but in most even strength situations, he was on the third line.
His Gophers made it to the Frozen Four after they defeated Boston University and rival North Dakota in the national tournament. Unfortunately for Minnesota, their quest for a sixth national title was thwarted by eventual champion Boston College in the Frozen Four semifinals. Condon returns to Minnesota this fall for his junior season.
Kieran Millan, Boston University (HE)
Drafted fifth round (124th overall), 2009 NHL Entry Draft
After winning a national championship during his freshman season in 2008-09, Kieran Millan hasn't been quite able to recapture the same magic in following seasons. After slumping during his sophomore season, Millan posted a 16-10-8 record during his junior campaign, to go along with a goals against average of 2.68 and save percentage of 0.919.
As a senior, Millan wanted to close out his college career on a positive note. He improved his record to 20-14-1, slightly lowered his goals against average to 2.60, and improved his save percentage to 0.923. Millan's season would come to an end as his club lost to Minnesota in the opening round of the national tournament 7-3. Millan has since signed an entry-level contract with the Avalanche. He will be one of a handful of goaltenders battling it out for one of the two goalie spots for the Lake Erie Monsters for the upcoming American Hockey League season.
Luke Moffatt, Michigan (CCHA)
Drafted seventh round (197th overall), 2010 NHL Entry Draft
Sophomore Luke Moffatt had to make due with the ice time he received this past season from legendary coach Red Berenson. Unfortunately for the Arizona native, that was mostly on the fourth line. Moffatt did post 16 points in 40 games for the Wolverines this past season. One of his six goals did come in the CCHA tournament semifinals in double overtime to Bowling Green. Michigan would lose to Western Michigan in the conference championship game.
Michigan's journey through the national tournament was a relatively short one. The Wolverines fell to Cornell in overtime 3-2. Moffatt did have the primary assist on the goal that would force the game into overtime. He returns to Michigan this fall as a junior in search of more ice time.
Kent Patterson, Minnesota (WCHA)
Drafted fourth round (113th overall), 2007 NHL Entry Draft
The 2011-12 season was a banner year for Kent Patterson. Patterson started all 43 games for the Gophers and posted a 28-14-1 record, goals against average of 2.32, and save percentage of 0.907. For his efforts, he was named to the All-WCHA First Team and was named as the conference's best goaltender.
After finishing with the best record during the regular season in the WCHA conference, the Gophers were stunned in the WCHA Final Five after allowing six unanswered goals to North Dakota in a 6-3 defeat in the semifinals. In the national tournament, Minnesota beat Boston University in the opening round and got their revenge against North Dakota in the second round with a 5-2 win.
Minnesota would eventually see their season end to Boston College in the Frozen Four semifinals. Despite the disappointing performance against Boston College, Patterson's season long performance earned him accolades and eventually an entry-level contract with the Avalanche. Patterson will be in an interesting goaltending competition for the Lake Erie Monsters starting this fall.
Gus Young, Yale (ECAC)
Drafted seventh round (184th overall), 2009 NHL Entry Draft
After missing the majority of his freshman season due to injury, Gus Young played in 35 games for the Yale Bulldogs during the 2011-12 season. The defenseman recorded three goals and nine assists during those games; to go along with 36 penalty minutes. Playing on the right side, Young spent the majority of the season on Yale's second defensive pairing. Yale finished in the middle of the pack of their conference and did not qualify for the national tournament. Now healthy, Young returns for his junior campaign this fall and is expected to have an increased offensive output for the Bulldogs.