Colorado College a homecoming for Rampage alum, Utah native Halloran
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Nick Halloran‘s hockey career is on a fast track.
That’s an appropriate way to describe the ascension of the speedy forward, who has gotten off to a great start in his freshman season at Colorado College and attracted the attention of a handful of NHL scouts.
Halloran had four goals and four assists through the Tigers’ first eight games and was named the NCHC Rookie of the Week for Oct. 17-23 after scoring three of his team’s five goals in a two-game weekend, all on the power play.
The 19-year-old Draper, Utah, native scored Colorado College’s lone goal in a 4-1 loss at Boston College and two goals, including the game winner, in a 4-3 victory at New Hampshire.
Halloran played for the Colorado Rampage 16U and 18U AAA teams before spending last season with the Trail Smoke Eaters in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), leading the team in scoring with 45 points (21 goals, 24 assists).
He had 67 points (19 goals, 48 assists) in two seasons with the Rampage. His 16U coach was Pat Bingham, while Andrew Sherman coached him at the 18U rung.
Halloran’s coach at Colorado College is Mike Haviland, who also isn’t surprised that Halloran has adjusted to Division I hockey so quickly.
“As you progress from one level of hockey to the next, your time and space to do what you need to do is taken away,” Haviland said. “Because of Nick’s speed and his hockey IQ, he can separate himself from opposing players.
“We needed more speed up front. That’s why we recruited Nick and now that he’s here, we have high expectations for him. We’ve gotten him to shoot more, which is making him even more dangerous offensively.”
Offense is great, but Halloran needs to be a 200-foot player, Haviland said, and his defense is improving.
“Nick didn’t have any points against Nebraska-Omaha (in a two-game weekend split in league openers Nov. 4-5), but I thought that was his best weekend for us all season because of his defense,” Haviland said.
Halloran is quite aware that defense is as much a priority as offense for him.
“Coach wants to me create offensively, but he also emphasizes defense,” he said. “We can’t win games if we’re giving up a lot of goals.”
Halloran was planning at one time to attend the Air Force Academy and play hockey there like his brother, Alex, who was a defenseman for the Falcons for four years. But he decommitted in fall 2015 and Colorado College came calling.
“I’m very comfortable with the coaching staff, the academics are second to none, and I’m close to home,” Halloran said when asked why he decided to play for the Tigers.
Halloran said his time with the Rampage helped prepare him for Division I hockey.
“I learned to use my speed and quickness to my advantage there,” he said. “And Coach Sherman showed me the importance of playing with passion and heart, to feed off those things.”
Sherman was glad to hear that.
“I want my guys to play with enthusiasm and be grateful for the opportunity to play hockey,” he said. “I also want my guys to treat their teammates well and be a good person and citizen.”
Halloran also learned those lessons. Just ask his current coach.
“Nick always has a smile on his face,” Haviland said. “He’s personable and has great charisma. He’ll be a success in life whatever he decides to do because of who he is.”
Halloran is the first former Rampage player to play for Colorado College and he’s one of only five Utah natives playing Division I hockey.
Photo/Colorado College Athletics
— Steve Stein