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.
Kohen Olischefski announced his commitment to DU back in 2015, during his first full season in the BCHL with the Chilliwack Chiefs, flipping his previous commitment to Wisconsin.
Picking up Olischefski looked like an even better move for the Pioneers after he posted a monster 24-goal, 52-assist season in 2016-17. The 76 points were good enough for sixth in the league, and Olischefski added 23 points in 23 playoff games to boot.
Growing up in his native Abbotsford, BC, Olischefski moved up into the BCHL after an elite prep school career at Yale Hockey Academy. His 71 points (29 G, 42 A) in 2014-15 earned him MVP honors in the CSSHL.
Looking at his output, Olischefski’s assist totals jump off the page. He’s made his prep and junior careers off being a pass-first forward who finds his teammates all over the ice.
Olischefski registered some minor attention by NHL scouts since his juniors career began. He was given a ‘C’ grade by NHL Central Scouting for the 2016 draft and ranked appeared at 83rd on a list of top 100 “Overagers” in the 2017 draft by The Draft Analyst. Despite being tagged with some potential value, he went unselected.
Olischefski’s style of play makes him well-suited to earn ice time during the 2017-18 season. With the Pioneers’ excess of experienced goal-scorers, role players who can effectively set up teammates are more likely to find time in the lineup. Needless to say, Olischefski will need to add size and strength to his 6-foot frame to sustain himself in the NCAA.