Kukla's Korner

Americans taking the college route to the NHL

American collegiate hockey has had a long history of producing the occasional NHL talent, reaching back to the days of Red Berenson, but in recent years it has developed into a premier training ground for top-level prospects preparing to take their game to the highest level.  Dave O’Onofrio of the Concord Monitor brings us a profile of Colin Wilson (7th overall 2008 pick by Nashville) and James van Riemsdyk (2nd overall 2007 pick by Philadelphia), two elite talents who are honing their craft on campus:

“It played out great for me, and I think it’s playing out the same way for Riemer,” said Wilson, whose 26 points tie him with vanRiemsdyk for the most among Hockey East players. “We’re both developing now, and I think it shows, not just in our numbers but by the way we play the game. In the new season both of us have gotten better than the previous season.”

“That Riemer, especially, is back in college this year is a real tribute to UNH. It’s a tribute to college hockey,” [USA Hockey assistant executive director Jim] Johannson added. “And it’s a tribute to his belief that ‘I’m going to become a better player here, and I’m going to be more ready to play in the National Hockey League whenever I decide to do that.’ “

Read on for the rest of the story.  For further reading on the impact of American talent on the NHL, check out James Mirtle’s series “Where NHLers come from.”

Filed in: Nashville Predators, NHL Commentary, | On the Forecheck | Permalink
 

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