Happy days are here again! Hello friends and welcome to the new hockey season. The Colorado Avalanche and Lake Erie Monsters have a few games under their belts. The Canadian junior teams have been in action for a few weeks and pucks are finally dropping around US college campuses.
With the great work earl06 has done with his Monsters coverage, I am more than happy to focus more on the NCAA and CHL kids. So, my college hockey coverage will primarily focus on the National College Hockey Conference (NCHC), which is entering its second year of play. The lone Avalanche college prospects, both drafted in 2013, reside in this conference: Will Butcher of the Denver Pioneers and Ben Storm of the St. Cloud State Huskies.
The Pioneers are coming off a NCHC playoff championship and a first round loss in the NCAA tournament to Boston College. Under the guidance of second-year head coach Jim Montgomery, Will Butcher should see an increased role in his sophomore season. In his freshman campaign, Butcher contributed eight goals and eight assists in 38 games.
Avs fans should get to see Butcher on the international stage this season as he is expected to suit up for Team USA in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. As for his Pioneers, DU opens the regular season, at home, this weekend against RPI.
The 6’7" 230 lbs behemoth that is Ben Storm suited up in 30 games last season for St. Cloud State, notching a single assist and 14 penalty minutes. Storm is a "raw" talent, who will likely need the four years of college before turning pro.
The Huskies opened the regular season with a weekend split against non-conference opponent Colgate. Paired with Jarrod Rabey, Storm compiled four shots in the two games. Up next for St. Cloud is a road trip to visit defending champion Union for a two-game set.
Avs CHL Prospects Stats
|Chris Bigras||Owen Sound||OHL||D||8||2||6||8||2||6|
|Conner Bleackley||Red Deer||WHL||C/RW||6||1||2||3||-3||6|
|Kyle Wood||North Bay||OHL||D||6||4||0||4||-1||2|
These stats represent games played through October 13, 2014.
Alexis Pepin is still recovering from a shoulder injury and is expected to return to the Gatineau lineup sometime in November.
After a slow start, Nick Magyar finally found his scoring touch, scoring his first two goals of the season in Kitchener's 6-5 win over Guelph on Monday.
Chris Bigras is on a hot streak offensively with a goal and five assists in his last three games.