Clurman’s selection by Avs illustrates RoughRiders’ mission
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Talk about a hat trick for the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders.
Not only did they have an alumni drafted by an NHL team, but he was the first one drafted by the Colorado Avalanche.
The Avs selecting Nate Clurman in the sixth round (161st overall) in June also reinforced one of the club’s primary missions – developing homegrown talent.
Clurman, a Boulder native, played two seasons of 14U AAA for the RoughRiders. The 6-foot-2, 198-pound defenseman also skated for the Boulder Hockey Club.
“Obviously, a guy like Nate staying home and trusting the nearby programs is big,” said Matt Huckins, who coached Clurman with the RoughRiders. “Throw in he’s the first Colorado kid drafted by the Avs and it multiplies the effect.”
“Matt Huckins, Derek Robinson, Chris Lawson and Neil Runbeck were all very influential in my development,” Clurman added. “Matt gave me the opportunity to play 14U a year early, which really helped my development.”
Clurman, who has committed to the University of Notre Dame (Hockey East) for the 2017-18 season, had 16 points (four goals) in 20 games for Culver Military Academy last season.
Robinson, the RoughRiders’ director of hockey operations, said Clurman and his parents, Andrew and Claire, have been important contributors to the Boulder and RoughRiders clubs.
“They’re very involved,” Robinson said. “He and his family are very focused on academics. He’s a great representative of our program.”
Clurman has attended Culver since his freshman year of high school. He has the option of returning there for his senior season or playing with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm.
“When Nate decided to go to Culver, the RoughRiders did a great job supporting him as a club,” Huckins said. “He was a great player and he could have helped the club win a lot of games and helped a lot of other players, but they did what was right by the player.”
Photo/Jan Garrison/Culver Academy
– Chris Bayee