The University of Denver Pioneers will welcome nine talented freshmen to campus for the 2017-8 season. Ranked as a top-five recruiting class in the country, the 2017-18 freshman class appears to be stocked with potential. Between now and the start of the Pioneers’ season, Mile High Hockey will be profiling each of the incoming freshmen and examining their potential impact on the 2017-18 season and beyond.
Ryan Barrow announced his intention to play for the DU Pioneers in February this year via his Twitter account. Barrow will enter the NCAA out of the BCHL, where he spent two full seasons playing for the Langley Rivermen.
Langley’s numbers bear out a steady improvement over the course of his career thus far. Especially promising is the 48-point jump in scoring from his first season with the Rivermen to his second. His 68 points in 2017-18 cracked the BCHL top-10, and he averaged 0.79 points per game over his 102 regular season games in the league.
He showed similar progress during his Junior B years while playing for Banff Hockey Academy in his native Alberta. All in all, Barrow has shown his ability as a natural scorer at all levels of junior hockey.
Also of note is that Langley is part of a growing trend of players exercising their ability to de-commit from one school and eventually ending up at another. In 2016, Barrow announced his commitment to Dartmouth, but one year later after a standout season, he flipped to Denver.
Barrow kept mostly quiet about the decision, telling Russ Ullyot of The Crag and Canyon: “I can’t talk about Dartmouth, but I am really happy about Denver.”
As for projecting his role on the Pioneers this season, Barrow will face the same problem as all of his fellow freshman forwards: there remains impressive depth at the position from the 2016-17 team.
Whether or not Barrow sees significant time in his first year, his career trend is promising for a productive career in the program at some point. It’s also possible that he keeps growing a bit — Barrow was just 5’9” and 150 pounds when he signed on with Rivermen, and is now listed as three inches taller and 20 pounds heavier. He could stand to continue adding weight and strength, which should be a positive development even if he isn’t given much ice time as a freshman.