Editor’s: Another Shore paves way to NHL
Colorado youth hockey celebrated another developmental milestone last month, as Nick Shore made his NHL debut on Jan. 17 as a member of the Los Angeles Kings – the team that selected the Denver native in the third round of the 2011 draft.
Shore, a forward, grew up playing in the Littleton Hockey Association (LHA) before joining the Colorado Thunderbirds, where he skated from 2006-08.
From there, he went on to play a season with the U.S. National Program’s Under-18 Team, and then three years at the University of Denver before beginning his professional career.
Shore’s older brother, Drew, another former Pioneer who also played with LHA, made his NHL debut with the Florida Panthers in 2013. He’s currently in the Calgary Flames’ system.
Brandon Carlo continues to prove himself as a high-end prospect heading into June’s NHL Entry Draft.
The Colorado Spring native was listed No. 16 among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings of 2015 draft-eligibles, which were released last month.
Carlo, a defenseman who played locally for the Thunderbirds and Colorado Hockey Club, is in his second full season patrolling the blue line for the Tri-City (Wash.) Americans of the Western Hockey League (WHL). He also represented the U.S. at this year’s World Junior Championship.
Central Scouting pegged two other Colorado natives on its midterm list: Highlands Ranch’s Troy Terry (87th among North American skaters) and Cherry Hills’ Alex Overhardt (184th).
Both forwards and former Thunderbirds who also played with LHA (Overhardt also played at Denver Country Club as a Mite), Terry, a University of Denver recruit, is skating with the U.S. National Program’s Under-18 Team this season, while Overhardt is in his first year with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks.
Colorado and Utah will be well represented at the upcoming North American Hockey League Top Prospects Tournament, as six local players were selected to compete in the highly scouted showcase.
Among the Colorado natives named were Morrison’s Evan Feno, a forward with the Janesville Jets; Highlands Ranch’s Jake Townsend, a defenseman for the Wichita Falls Wildcats; Denver’s Chandler Madry, a forward with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs; and Colorado Springs’ A.J. Vanderbeck, a forward for the Lone Star Brahmas.
From Utah, Sandy’s Dan Brickley, a forward with the Topeka RoadRunners, and Murray’s Ryan Solomon, a defenseman for the Minnesota Magicians, will also compete.
Brickley and Madry are both Minnesota State-Mankato recruits, while Vanderbeck has committed to Colorado College and Feno to the Air Force Academy.
The event, which is attended annually by a bevy of NCAA and NHL coaches and scouts, will take place on Feb. 23-24 in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Forty-six teams from Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico Texas and Wyoming, as well as British Columbia, converged on Littleton’s South Suburban Ice Arena and The Ice Ranch last month for the 29th annual LHA-hosted Slapshot Tournament.
Champions were crowned in five divisions: Midget A Elite (Littleton Hawks Black); Midget A Open (Colorado’s Ranch Hockey Club); Bantam B (Colorado Springs Jr. Tigers); Pee Wee B (Kansas City Stars); and Squirt B (British Columbia’s Burnaby Winter Club).
“It was a great tournament with teams from all over the state and region,” said Littleton hockey director Brian TenEyck, who served as tournament director. “The hockey was fast and clean.”
Speaking of tournaments, the inaugural 9280 Pond Hockey Tournament was showcased last month on Keystone Lake in Keystone with 42 teams from five states taking part in the fun.
Division champions included: the Storm (Open); Black Ice (Silver); Raging Buzz (Bronze); the Canadians (45 and Over); Multiple Scoregasms (Women’s Open); Foothills Flyers (14U) and Awesome Possum (10U).
Because of the scenic location and pristine ice conditions, Mike Gempeler, who co-founded the tournament along with Geoff Dell, says he expects upwards of 80 squads to take part in next year’s festivities.
“The response from the teams, both youth and adult, was incredible,” said Gempeler.
– Matt Mackinder