Starrett spends his summer leave tending goal in Chicago
Starrett, who fashioned one of the best seasons by a goaltender in the Academy’s storied hockey history, participated in the Chicago Blackhawks’ Development Camp from July 9-13.
The 6-foot-5 goalie backstopped Air Force’s second-place finish in Atlantic Hockey Conference (AHC). The Falcons were 16-7-5 in the league and 20-12-5 overall. In the process, Starrett became just the second Falcons goalie – and first freshman – selected First Team All-Conference. His 1.92 goals-against average and .924 save percentage both were the second-best in program history.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity to go out and hopefully show that I can compete at that level,” he told the school’s official website. “This will be a great learning experience. I’m looking forward to seeing what it takes to compete at this level.”
The chance to put on the pads in a pro camp at this point caught Starrett off guard. He is now 22 and was not drafted during any of his three years of NHL Draft eligibility.
“I was in complete disbelief when I got the call,” he said. “This is something you always dream about when you grow up playing hockey.”
Not only did Starrett join his younger brother Beau, a sophomore to be at Cornell University who was a third-round selection (88th overall) in the 2014 draft by the Blackhawks, at the camp, but he continued a recent trend of Falcons standouts spending their summer leave in the Windy City.
In 2015, forward Cole Gunner went to Chicago’s camp, just as defenseman Dan Weissenhofer had in 2013 and forward Kyle De Laurell had in 2012. Two other Falcons attended development camps in 2012 – goaltender Andrew Volkening with Florida and defenseman Adam McKenzie with Washington.
– Chris Bayee