Editor’s: More locals pegged as NHL draft prospects
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Four Colorado-groomed players were selected in last summer’s NHL Entry Draft, and while this season is just in its infancy, expect a few more to hear their names called at the 2015 proceedings.
Local products Brandon Carlo, Mikey Eyssimont and Troy Terry – all former Colorado Thunderbirds – were recognized by NHL Central Scouting on its “Players to Watch” list of 2015 draft-eligibles, which was released last month.
Carlo, a Colorado Springs native who grew up playing for Colorado Hockey Club prior to the T-Birds, is considered an A-rated prospect (a first-round draft candidate). Carlo, a defenseman who participated in last month’s CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in Buffalo, is in his second full season with the Western Hockey League’s Tri-City (Wash.) Americans.
Both Eyssimont, a forward from Littleton in his second full season with the United States Hockey League’s Fargo Force, and Terry, a forward from Highlands Ranch skating with the U.S. National Team Development Program’s Under-18 Team, are both listed as C-rated prospects (fourth-, fifth- or sixth-round candidates).
Eyssimont is a St. Cloud State University recruit, while Terry, who also competed in the All-American Prospects Game, is set to play his college hockey at the University of Denver. Both also played for the Littleton Hawks.
NHL Central Scouting will release its midseason rankings of 2015 draft-eligibles in January, followed by its final rankings in April.
Congrats to Colorado Rampage 18U AAA forward Nick Halloran, who recently committed to play his NCAA Division I hockey at the Air Force Academy.
At the Academy, Halloran will be joined by current Rampage linemate Matt Pulver, who committed to play for the Falcons in the spring.
“We’re very excited for both Nick and Matt,” said Rampage chairman and 18U AAA coach Andrew Sherman. “For them to have this opportunity to play at such a high level and prestigious place like the Air Force Academy is awesome.”
Halloran and Pulver will be the fifth and six Rampage grads to play under coach Frank Serratore at Air Force.
Kudos, too, to defenseman Daniel Billet, a Highlands Ranch native who recently committed to play his NCAA Division I hockey at Bemidji State University.
Billett, who played locally for the Thunderbirds and Hawks, is in his second season with the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) Aberdeen Wings.
“Daniel’s commitment to Bemidji State is well-deserved,” said Wings head coach Francis Anzalone. “He’s worked diligently, both on and off the ice, over the last 13 months to get to this point.”
A third Colorado native made a Division I commitment recently, as defenseman Bryan Yoon, from Denver, has decided to attend and play hockey at Colorado College beginning the fall of 2017.
Yoon, a former Thunderbird, is playing for Omaha AAA Hockey Club’s 16U team this season.
Nice work by Littleton’s Pee Wee AA1 team, which celebrated the championship at last month’s local Super03 Series tournament.
The Hawks went 4-1-1 at the event, which was contested at The Ice Ranch in Littleton, including a 3-2 victory over Dallas Stars Elite in the finale thanks to a pair of third-period goals from forward Walker Smith.
“The boys battled hard all weekend,” said Littleton coach Phil Patenaude. “We pride ourselves on our hard work, and I felt like we earned all our opportunities.”
Smith led the club in scoring over the weekend with seven goals for 11 points, and goaltender Brendan Williamson posted a perfect 3-0 record (he was also named MVP of the championship game).
Highlands Ranch’s Austin Shaw was named the NAHL Goaltender of Month for September.
Shaw, a former Thunderbird and Hawk in his first season with the Wichita Falls Wildcats, won all four of his starts for the month to compliment a sterling 1.00 goals-against average and a .966 save percentage.
“I want keep working hard and play well, and hopefully that turns into an opportunity to play NCAA Division I hockey down the road,” said Shaw.