Where Are They Now? Former Tigers competing in the pros

731d5940-91a4-4f25-8b3f-cb70da1daf8f-stanley-cup-16While there is talk and/or hope of a resumption of the NHL schedule, it is the offseason for many former Colorado College Tigers now plying their skills in the professional ranks in North America or overseas.
I listed everyone I could track down who was under contract this past season with whatever information I dug up on websites and databases (IHDB.com, Eliteprospects.com). I did not include any players who did not play. I include some links to past articles where relevant.
The list is organized by where the former Tiger played the majority of his games or where he was when that league’s season was suspended or canceled. I included some links to past articles if you want to read more.
Former Tigers currently in the pros
NHL
Curtis McElhinney, G — The Ontario native, 36, went 8-7-0-3 in 18 appearances (2.89 goals against, .906 saves percentage) in a backup role for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He is now 90-89-0-18 in 237 NHL games (.909. 2.82 goals).
Jaden Schwartz, F — The 27-year-old winger was on a tear, recording 57 points (22 goals) in 71 games for St. Louis this season. He was second in the NHL with tip-in goals (seven) behind San Jose’s Evander Kane (eight). He led the Blues with 12 playoff goals during the 2018-19 playoffs, which culminated in hoisting the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. Now in his eighth full NHL season, the Saskatchewan native, 27, has 364 points (146 goals) in 520 appearances.
slavin

Jaccob Slavin, D — The Erie, Colo. native, 25, recorded 36 points (30 assists) in 68 games for the Carolina Hurricanes this season. He is now at 151 points (122 assists) in 377 NHL career game since his debut on Nov. 18, 2015. And he continues to improve. He was named to the 2020 NHL All-Star Game, where he won the accuracy shooting competition. His time of 9.505 seconds was the best since the NHL expanded to five targets. He is under contract with Carolina through the 2024-25 season.

AHL
Teemu Kivihalme, D — Recorded 18 points (14 assists) in 55 games for Toronto Marlies before receiving a short call-up by the Maple Leafs (DNP). The 24-year-old spent the previous two seasons playing for Karpat in his father’s native Finland.
Gustav Olofsson, D — The native of Sweden recorded 16 points (15 assists) in his first season with the Laval Rocket. The 25-year-old has 11 assists in 59 NHL appearances, including three Canadiens games (no points) this season. His contract with the Montreal organization was extended on March 21 and lasts through the 2020-21 season.
Nate Prosser, D — Recorded 10 points (nine assists) in 59 games (his first full AHL season) for Lehigh Valley after signing a one-year deal with the Flyers organization. The Phantoms assistant captain, 33, spent his previous nine pro seasons with the Minnesota Wild. He has recorded 47 points in 354 NHL contests (one game, no points, 2017-18 Blues).
Peter Stoykewych, D — Manitoba Moose captain’s season was cut short by injury (12 games, one assist). The Winnipeg native, 27, has 72 points in 267 games for his hometown AHL team.

ECHL
l4yj7OTVMason Bergh, F — Started the 2019-20 season with AHL Ontario Reign (three points, 25 games) before being sent down to Fort Wayne, where the 25-year-old recorded 19 points (10 goals) in 29 contests.
Trey Bradley, F — The 23-year-old winger recorded 34 points (14 goals) in 48 games for the defending champion Newfoundland Growlers.
Trevor Gooch, F — The New Jersey native, 25, put together a solid first full pro season with 22 points (12 goals), 22 penalty minutes and a plus-10 rating in 40 games for the Reading Royals.
Alex Krushelnyski, F — The 29-year-old fought through injuries to record 30 points (11 goals) in 28 games for the Indy Fuel.
Overseas
Richard Bachman, G — The 32-year-old started the season with AHL Utica before being loaned by the Canucks organization on Feb. 12 to last-place Oskarhamn of the top Swedish league. His season ended with three appearances overseas.
Nick Dineen, F — The former Pikes Peak Miner, 31, is under contract for his 10th pro season (2020-21) in Europe. He served as captain in his third year with Norway’s Lillehammer (site of the 1994 Winter Olympics), recording 50 points (22 goals) in 45 games.
Hunter Fejes, F — We should only hope for his frequent flyer miles. The 25-year-old forward finished this season with his 10th pro team, LInz of the Austrian league, where he tallied 21 points (13 goals) in 24 games. He also played this season with ECHL Orlando Solar Bears (10 points, 15 games) and the AHL Manitoba Moose (one assist, seven games).

Cody Lampl, D — The 33-year-old fan favorite recorded six assists in 45 games in his third season for the Mannheim Eagles. The 13-year pro has 92 points (69 assists) in 228 games in German league after playing in 276 ECHL games (87 points, 71 assists) earlier in his career. He is under contract for his 14th season (fourth in Mannheim) in 2020-21.
Alex Leclerc, Dundee Stars,Alex Leclerc, G — The Quebec native, 25, appeared in 56 games, winning 23, while stopping a Elite Ice Hockey League high 1,773 shots for the Dundee (Scotland) Stars, which named him as the franchise’s player of the year.
William Rapuzzi, F — The 30-year-old Anchorage native recorded 27 points (15 goals) in 39 games for Austria’s Dornbin.
Rylan Schwartz, F — The center ended the season with the Stavanger OIlers of Norway, recording seven points (three goals) in eight games. During his seventh full pro season, the 30-year-old left the Nurnberg Ice Tigers of Germany on Feb. 11 after tallying 10 points (five goals) in 31 games.
Mike Testwuide, F — He played his second season with the Daemyung Killer Whales (21 points, 35 games). He has 283 points in 267 games over seven seasons in the Asia League. The Vail native, 33, is a dual citizen of the U.S. and South Korea, allowing him to play for the host team in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

 

 

In the pros: O’Connell starts career off 2-0

DSCF0396Anchorage-based goalie Drew O’Connell, a former Tiger, picked up a win against his hometown ECHL Aces when the Ontario Reign needed an emergency fill-in netminder. He stopped a penalty shot  in a 3-1 win.

That so impressed the Reign, who took O’Connell on the plane back for a home game against Las Vegas (19 saves including one penalty shot) and a 4-1 victory.

The wins were first reported by the Anchorage Daily News who first reported on their hometown goalie and noted he had filled in as a backup for the Aces a few times last season. As of Wednesday night, O’Connell’s pro stats are 2-0-0, 1.00 goals-against average, .944 save percentage and 44 saves, including two penalty shots, in 65 minutes (5:00 scoreless relief on Jan. 11).

Here is a good game story featuring O’Connell’s exploits against the Aces and how former Air Force player Jacques Lamoureux passed on word through his brother (and North Dakota alumnus) Mario about O’Connell being available. That is reason No. 2,349 why I love college hockey.

In the pros: Crabb, Sterling, Sweatt

Former Tiger Joey Crabb broke a three-game pointless streak with the game-winning shorthanded goal in a 1-0 road win at ECHL Las Vegas Wednesday night.

Both Brett Sterling and Bill Sweatt scored for AHL Chicago in a recent win over Rockford.

Friday reading: WCHA features and previews, military appreciation

No. 19 Colorado College takes on a strong No. 7 Cornell team in its first road trip of the season (No, Air Force does not count).

Minnesota State readies for its final campaign in the old WCHA. They travel to St. Cloud State.

Here is a look at the Wisconsin at No. 14 Minnesota Duluth series from a Bulldogs perspective. Wisconsin senior Derek Lee, UW’s power play quarterback, is out this weekend after a scooter-car collision.

Nebraska Omaha goalie John Faulkner is playing well so far. UNO hosts Bemidji State.

Hockey brought in big money to the Denver economy last weekend. Look for goalie Sam Brittain to start Friday against visiting Michigan Tech with Juho Olkinuora. Here is a preview focusing on Michigan Tech.

Here is all you need to know about Alaska Anchorage at No. 4 North Dakota.

Minnesota plays the USA U-18 team tonight and Canisius, which tied Air Force 1-1 on Thursday,  on Sunday. The Gophers will rest a few dinged up players.

In pro hockey, the ECHL Colorado Eagles are asking fans to nominate their family members or friends who they feel qualify as “Hometown Heroes” as part of Military Appreciation Night.

If you know of someone who deserves to be honored and recognized for their incredible efforts of military service, please fill out the attached form and return it for consideration to the Colorado Eagles by the end of business on Thursday, Nov. 1.

Three nominees will be chosen from the forms received, and honored (one per period) during our annual Military Appreciation Night on Wednesday, Nov. 7 at the Budweiser Events Center.  The honorees will receive free tickets to that night’s game, along with admittance for select family/friends.

In the pros: Dimmen, Holmstrom, J. Schwartz, Testwuide

Colorado Springs hockey fans have three good reasons to follow the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms– natives Jeff Dimmen (Maine) and Ben Holmstrom (UMass-Lowell) and former CC captain Mike Testwuide are all on the Opening Night roster.

Dimmen signed an AHL contract after entering training camp with a tryout deal. Holmstrom enters his second season as the Phantoms’ captain.

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz is on AHL Peoria’s second line as left wing with center Phil McRae and right wing Jay Barriball.

Ted Behrend is on CHL Denver’s roster while Arthur Bidwill made the ECHL Colorado Eagles..

In the pros: Bidwill notches exhibition hat trick

From the Colorado Eagles …

In their first ever meeting against the expansion San Francisco Bulls, the ECHL Colorado Eagles built a 5-0 lead, only to see the Bulls score six unanswered in an exhibition home game Friday that Colorado eventually won in a shootout, 7-6.

The Eagles out-scored the Bulls 4-0 in the opening period.  Rookie defenseman Arthur Bidwill notched both of Colorado’s power-play goals after not scoring a single goal in four seasons at Colorado College (51 games).

Bidwill got the scoring started at 2:02 with a one-timer from the right dot off a feed from Gabe Gauthier (a rival University of Denver alumnus) behind the net on the Eagles’ first power play of the period.

Bidwill picked up his second power-play tally of the first period with a bomb from the right point to make it 4-0. San Francisco picked up their play after that, aided by receiving both of their first period power plays in the final three and a half minutes of the frame.

Colorado scored on a fluky goal in the second period to go ahead 5-0 before San Francisco reeled off six goals to go ahead 6-5 in the third. But just 21 seconds later, Bidwill capped off his strong night with his third goal of the game, knotting the score back up at 6.

In the shootout, three of the five Eagles shooters beat Chris Venti, while Eagles goalie Aaron Dell stopped three of the four San Francisco shooters.  Daavettila was credited with the game-winner.

The Eagles open the season Oct. 12-13 with a pair of home games against the Alaska Aces.

In the pros: Bidwill, Connelly, Crabb, Fredheim, Hall, Lamoureux, Rau, Schultz

Former Tiger Kris Fredheim is in AHL Houston’s training camp, along with Brian Connelly and Chad Rau, pictured.

The ECHL Alaska Aces just got a whole lot better with the addition of three NHL regulars — Anchorage residents Joey Crabb, Scott Gomez and Nate Thompson. Aces fans should send thank you cards to Gary Bettman.

Tim Hall and former Air Force Falcon Jacques Lamoureux are also on the Aces’ training camp roster.

Stephen Schultz is on the Trenton Titans roster while Arthur Bidwill is on the Colorado Eagles camp. Most ECHL camps started Friday.

Saturday reading: Minnesota, SCSU, predictions, rules video

The first USA Hockey preseason poll will be released on Sept. 24 with new ones to follow most Mondays.

The 2012-13 Minnesota schedule was finalized  as is the SCSU Huskies.

Sioux7 announced his preseason picks for the WCHA with Denver ahead of North Dakota. Here is Goon’s World’s prediction.

Here is the 25-minute NCAA video with some examples about the rules emphasis and tweaks for the 2012-13 season, including that indirect contact to the head (player hits body and then slides up to head) could lead to a two-minute minor using existing penalties (elbowing, high sticking, roughing, charging) at the discretion of referee. Penalties (including awarding a goal) for dislodging the net is also discussed along with an effort to clarify goals off a players’ skate.

Bob Caldwell is the new assistant coach at Western Michigan.  High expectations are now the norm for Air Force.

The ECHL Colorado Eagles landed a big-time free agent by league standards: The Colorado Eagles of the ECHL announced Thursday the signing of forward Trent Daavettila (dah-VUH-till-uh) who has spent the first four years of his professional career as a standout with the Kalamazoo Wings.  Since the 2009-10 season, no player has produced more points in the ECHL than Daavettila’s 249 (including playoff games).  In that time, his 168 assists also rank as the most, while his plus-52 plus/minus ranking is tied for the 2nd-best.  In 191 regular season ECHL games, the 6-foot, 190-pound forward accumulated 203 points (69-134-203), highlighted by a stellar 2010-11 season (in which he led the league with a plus-28 plus/minus) that helped the Wings reach the league finals.  He led Kalamazoo in points each of the past two seasons (154 in 140 games) & led the 2011 playoff field in points (28) & assists (22) as well.

In the pros: Schultz heads to ECHL Trenton

Former Tiger Stephen Schultz has signed with the Trenton Titans of the ECHL. He is entering his second full professional season, and spent the majority of his 2011-12 campaign in the AHL with the Texas Stars. No contract details were announced.

The 5-foot-11, 185 pound winger tallied 11 points in 34 games with Texas last season, and also had a brief two-game stint in the ECHL with Idaho. The 2011 graduate played in five AHL games after his senior season at CC ended but could not find a regular role in Texas. His AHL contract expired at the end of this past season.

Trenton is the ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and the AHL affiliate of the Adirondack Phantoms where Mike Testwuide recently signed a two-way deal.

In the pros: Bidwill signs with Colorado Eagles

Arthur Bidwill saw a chance to move up a level in pro hockey and return to Colorado. He gladly took it.

The former Colorado College defenseman said he signed a one-year contract recently with the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles.

“After last season (in the Central Hockey League) ended I was looking for the best fit,” he said Friday. “It is great that I get to stay in Colorado. I really enjoyed my four years at CC. I know the Eagles have a really good fan base. It will be fun.”

Bidwill played four postseason games with the CHL’s Allen (Texas) Americans, with former teammate Brian McMillin, who recently re-signed with the franchise. Bidwill’s season ended early with a knee injury in the playoffs. He he fully recovered by the team awards brunch in May.

Bidwill did well in his short time in the CHL, finishing plus-7 thanks in part to the slower, more controlled pace on the NHL-sized sheets of the CHL, especially when compared to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. He knows the ECHL (which used to be an acronym for East Coast Hockey League) will be a step up in speed and skill.

“I do not know really what to expect,” he said. “I hope I can contribute. I know I will go in, work hard and then we will see what happens.”

The preseason starts Oct. 5 with the Eagles hosting the expansion franchise San Francisco Bulls with the regular-season opener at home against Alaska, which has Tim Hall on its protected list, on Oct. 12 at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.