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.

 

 

More Friday reading: Colorado College at Wisconsin TV/video stream options, McElhinney, Denver, Air Force, North Dakota, predictions

Photo: Kyle Daudelin

A tape-delayed free streaming option for any CC fans who don’t have access to Altitude2 (6 p.m. Mountain) is available for the Tigers at Wisconsin game Friday night. Wisconsin Public Television will broadcast the game at 9 p.m. Mountain on The Wisconsin Channel  at http://wpt.org/wisconsinchannel/ .

Colorado College is sixth in the WCHA in scoring at 3.17 goals per game but has struggled on the power play. The Tigers have not converted on their last 12 power-play chances and are ninth in the league at 13 percent (4 of 30).  Senior forwards Andrew Hamburg (four goals, one assist), William Rapuzzi (two goals, three assists) and Scott Winkler (three goals, two assists) are tied for the team lead in points at five.

Former Tiger goalie Curtis McElhinney, pictured, of the Springfield Falcons is the AHL Goaltender of the Month for October. In six appearances during the month, McElhinney went 5-1-0 with a 1.51 goals-against average, a .949 save percentage and two shutouts, helping the Falcons to the best record in the Eastern Conference. Here are the rest of the details.  Former Wisconsin standout Justin Schultz was named as player of the month suggesting that all the summer hype was not too overblown.

Here is the Denver Post’s preview for all three Front Range schools.

No. 12 Boston University is playing at No. 5 North Dakota for the first time since December 1996. Expect more such nonconference match-ups with the new league alignments forcing more nonconference games. Expect more such trips for the Terriers and Boston College, including to the state of Colorado. Fun fact: The last time UND and BU played in Grand Forks, both teams played in the national championship game (UND won 6-4 in spring 1997).

Here is Western College Hockey blog’s weekend preview and the USCHO predictions.

Meet the CC freshmen: Russell Finch, Jared Hanson

The much-traveled Russell Finch, the first Wyoming native to join the Tigers program, is happy to see his long road through junior hockey culminate with a roster spot at Colorado College.

Finch, 21, played with Casper Outlaws youth program until age 15 when he moved to play at a high level in Fort Collins and his family moved to Maryland.  He would have been the first from the Terrapin State to play for the Tigers but he has never lived there.

“Finch is a smart player,” said captain William Rapuzzi. “He is one of the older guys who really knows the game.”

“He’s a very experienced, dependable defenseman,” said CC assistant Eric Rud.

That showed in his final season when he record 15 points (12 assists) in 50 games and was a whopping plus-32 in plus/minus.

Finch spent the next three years in Chicago playing midget hockey before moving on to the St. Louis Bandits of the North American Hockey League for a season followed by 10 games before a trade to NAHL Fairbanks. Both teams won their divisions while Finch was there.

“I put in my time,” the 5-foot-11 defenseman said with a smile. ” I am really happy and excited to have the opportunity to play college hockey. I will work very hard. I will do whatever needs to be done for the team.”

Freshman Jared Hanson, like most rookies, is still adjusting to the college game.

But the former Lincoln Stars standout has shown that he can contribute in many ways thanks to a good work ethic, well-rounded game and a mature, winning attitude to the Tigers.

It showed in the larger role he had in Lincoln, working his way onto a top line and on the power-play unit. He went from 24 points in 53 games in 2010-11 to 55 points (27 goals) in as many games last season.

“He got better and better his final season there,” CC coach Scott Owens said.

That improvement was thanks to the same work ethic he promises to bring to the Tigers program.

“I will just try to work hard and seize every opportunity I can and make the most of it by burying the puck,” the Palmer, Alaska native said.

The previous Meet The Freshmen installment dealt with Cody Bradley and Hunter Fejes. The final one later this week will introduce Michael King and Pete Maric.

Friday reading: NHL free agency, BC should leave Hockey East?

CC captain William Rapuzzi celebrated his goal against Boston College during the 2011 NCAA Tournament West regional in St. Louis.

Four of the top 10 NHL free agent defensemen are WCHA alumni. Thanks to Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald for tweeting the article.

This BC fan blog thinks the Eagles should leave Hockey East to create a stronger six-team league of the top-tier teams.

Mandi Schwartz continues to inspire her former Yale teammates.

Several WCHA players have done well at summer prospects camps. Others are headed to them now.

A Denver recruit is considering the Windsor Spitfires.

Here are more North Dakota links. A former UND defenseman re-signs with Tampa Bay.

Saturday reading: Friday followups; CC No. 9 Pairwise; In the pros

Former Tiger Joey Crabb is quietly having a career NHL season.

Wisconsin’s Mike Eaves is intrigued by outdoor game idea at Soldier Field. Here’s the game story of UW’s 4-0 road win at Minnesota State in Mankato. Here’s the Free Press’ take on the loss before a rare large home crowd.

UMD radio man and blogger Bruce Ciskie ruminates on Duluth’s blistering play of late (school record 14-0-3) and North Dakota’s Danny Kristo checking from behind penalty with video. Here’s footage of the three goals.

Here’s plenty on North Dakota’s 2-1 home win over No. 5 Minnesota here and Denver’s 6-3 home win over Bemidji State.

Academic issues kept Alaska Anchorage’s top goalie and leading remaining goal scorer back in Alaska and not in Houghton during Friday’s 6-2 road loss.

CC junior William Rapuzzi is trying to jump start his season. The Tigers’ 3-1 home win over SCSU pushed CC up to ninth in the Pairwise rankings.

Former Tiger Joey Crabb has matched his career NHL goal totals already this season. Bill Sweatt scored for the red-hot AHL Wolves.

Around the WCHA: Tigers charge into third with road sweep

CC junior Rylan Schwartz scored twice to spark the Tigers for their fourth win in five games. Courtesy CC Athletics

No. 7 Colorado College ended the first half of its season with an exclamation point.

The Tigers (11-5, 9-5 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) scored twice early in the third period to seal a convincing 6-2 win at last-place Minnesota State-Mankato (5-14-1, 2-11-1). The road sweep moved CC into sole possession of third place, past idle Nebraska-Omaha (9-8-3, 7-4-3).

CC junior center Rylan Schwartz scored twice, with his team-leading 16th of the year proving to be the game winner when he put the Tigers ahead 3-1 with 15:27 left in the second period.

Defensemen Eamonn McDermott and Joe Marciano scored in the first 4:19 of the third to open up a 5-1 command. Mike Boivin scored the opening goal to give CC three goals by its blue-liners.

Mankato’s Michael Dorr scored a shorthanded goal to make it 5-2 midway through the final period. It was the sixth shorty allowed by the Tigers this season. It was the only negative for a power play that clicked at a 3-for-6 pace.

William Rapuzzi scored an empty-netter for the final margin. Rylan Schwartz got the assist.

CC goalie Josh Thorimbert recorded 24 saves, 13 in the third, to win his second in a row. The Tigers out shot Mankato 44-26, leading in that stat by a 43-18 margin midway through the third.

No. 2 Minnesota (14-5-1, 11-3) and No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth (12-3-3, 10-2-2) are tied for first with 22 points, four ahead of the Tigers.

No. 13 Denver (8-7-3, 6-5-3) lost 5-1 at St. Cloud State in the only other league series this weekend to remain in fifth.

Bemidji State beat Alabama-Huntsville 5-0 for the home sweep while North Dakota downed the Russian Red Stars 5-1 in exhibition play.

The league is idle until after Christmas. CC hosts Air Force on Dec. 30 and No. 12 Union on New Year’s Eve.

Union downed No. 5 Merrimack 3-1 on Saturday night.

CURRENT WCHA STANDINGS

WCHA Games
Overall
GP
W
L
T
Pts
GF
GA
W
L
T
GF
GA
Minnesota
14
11
3
0
22
51
28
14
5
1
83
41
Minnesota Duluth
14
10
2
2
22
59
32
12
3
3
73
44
Colorado College
14
9
5
0
18
59
48
11
5
0
67
50
Nebraska Omaha
14
7
4
3
17
46
43
9
8
3
62
60
Denver
14
6
5
3
15
47
45
8
7
3
59
55
North Dakota
14
7
7
0
14
39
37
9
8
1
51
50
Michigan Tech
14
6
7
1
13
41
43
9
9
1
54
55
St. Cloud State
14
5
6
3
13
43
41
7
9
4
64
62
Bemidji State
14
5
7
2
12
36
46
9
9
2
55
56
Wisconsin
14
4
8
2
10
40
50
7
9
2
57
59
Alaska Anchorage
14
3
10
1
7
29
54
6
10
2
46
63
Minnesota State
14
2
11
1
5
37
60
5
14
1
55
75

Friday’s lines: CC at MSU-Mankato

Colorado College

LW-C-RW

Skalbeck/R. Schwartz/Rapuzzi

Krushenyski/Dineen/Hamburg

Eveland/Civitarese/Collett

Morin/Hall/Taft

LD-RD

Guentzel/McDermott

Harstad/Marciano

Stoykewych/Boivin

Goalies — Thorimbert/Howe

From Puckato, which is hosting a live game blog both nights.
MINNESOTA STATE
23-Dorr     14-Jokinen     22-McInnis
15-Burkemper     19-Lehrke     25-Hayes
12-LaFontaine     18-Leitner     8-Gaede
24-Mueller     29-Zuck     9-Louwerse3-Cooper     26-Schiller
7-Palmquist     16-Elbrecht
17-Mosey     2-Nelson

1-Lee
31-Karambelas
30-Cook

Scratches: Grant, Heath, Knoll, Leivermann, Stern, Thauwald

Sunday reading: Bachman wins first NHL start (video); Saturday reactions (videos)

Former Tigers goalie Richard Bachman, pictured at left, recorded his first NHL win in his big-league debut Saturday night in Los Angeles as Dallas prevailed 2-1.

Here’s video highlights from the game and the NHL.com game story, which mentions he will start at 5 p.m. Mountain on Tuesday versus the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The games will be broadcast on the MSG and Fox Sports Southwest networks.

“The final buzzer goes off, you can get that sigh of relief, especially in a tight game like that,” Bachman, who made 26 saves on 27 shots (.963 saves percentage), told nhl.com. “It’s exciting. It’s fun. You always dream about getting that first win. It’s a dream come true tonight.”

Now back to the WCHA and a look at Saturday’s results …

The best way to get some confidence? Host Alabama-Huntsville. Here’s notes on MSU-Mankato’s 9-1 win on Saturday and the Free Press’ game story. CC travels e)to Mankato this weekend.

Here’s Brian Gomez’s video (winning goal, post-game interviews) on the Tigers’ 4-3 win over Alaska-Anchorage and the game story.  Scott Winkler and William Rapuzzi are featured in the daily notebooks. Good stuff.

Bemidji State freshman Andrew Walsh made 36 saves for the win.

The Bemidji Pioneer’s game story from the Beavers’ 2-1 home win over No. 13 Denver is here. The photo gallery is here.

Things got a little ugly (new school view) or good (old school) with a shouting match between a Michigan Tech assistant andtwo of the Gophers coaching staff. Here’s the UM blog’s recap.

Here’s the Saturday Night Rewind from the Grand Forks Herald with observations and links to game stories about UND’s 1-0 home win over Nebraska-Omaha.

Wisconsin’s Landon Peterson makes a great save in a video from the Badgers’ 4-2 loss against No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth.

Alaska-Anchorage pulls away for 6-3 win

The only cheer as time expired that could be heard in World Arena was “UAA! UAA!”

It was for good reason.

Alaska-Anchorage scored twice during a five-minute power play to start the third period to pull away for a 6-3 road win Friday on sixth-ranked Colorado College before an announced crowd of 6,587.

It was Anchorage’s fourth win in 25 games all-time at World Arena. The series concludes at 7 p.m. Mountain Saturday.

“We started well and all of a sudden it ended up being a bad night,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said.

CC standout Jaden Schwartz (one assist) will not be available for the Tigers (8-5, 6-5 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) after he leaves Saturday morning for the Canada world junior championships selection camp in Calgary.

UAA junior Mitch Bruijsten, of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, capped the early third-period scoring when he recorded a hat trick with 16:05 left for a commanding 6-3 lead.

CC starting goalie Joe Howe was pulled in favor of freshman backup Courtney Lockwood, who recorded his first ice time (16:05, four saves) as a Tiger.

Alaska-Anchorage took advantage of six penalties against Colorado College to record two power-play goals for a 4-3 lead late in the second period.

“If we lose to them, we lose to them, but I didn’t like the way we dealt with it,” Owens said. “I think those penalties were there. I think the majors were there. When it’s that one-sided? These are veteran referees.”

Brad Gorham’s goal 1:09 into the third gave UAA (6-9-2, 3-9-1) four power-play scores against a normally sound CC penalty kill and a 5-3 lead. Special teams were the difference with UA scoring its first goal shorthanded by Bruijsten.

“We had our chances,” William Rapuzzi said. “If we can play five on five, we dominate teams, and we were shorthanded a lot of the game. It ruins the momentum and the rhythm of the game. Guys don’t play for a certain amount of time and kind of get cold.”

Seawolves defenseman Austin Coldwell knocked in a rebound past CC goalie Joe Howe, who was still sprawled from an earlier save, to score the go-ahead goal with 8:43 left.

After going ahead 6-3 early in the third, Anchorage played a good defensive game, keeping its defensemen back to avoid giving CC no more than a few quality scoring chances the rest of the game.

The goals came fast and furious early in the second period.

Moments after Bruijsten scored a power-play goal with 17:00 left in the second period, CC captain Nick Dineen answered to give the sixth-ranked Tigers a 3-2 lead with 16:44 to play.

Less than two minutes later, Anchorage’s Curtis Leinweber answered when he scored off a backhander in front inside the left post to make it 3-3.

Bruijsten scored an unassisted shorthanded goal with 2:23 left to make it 2-1 headed into the first intermission Friday night.

The shorty came after the Tigers had dominated the first 15 minutes, jumping out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Rapuzzi and Alexander Krushelnyski.

Rapuzzi continued to enjoy his best games against his hometown team. The right winger banged in a loose puck off a hard shot by Rylan Schwartz to record his ninth career goal against the Seawolves to stake CC to a 1-0 lead with 13:18 left in the first period.

Rapuzzi now has 11 career points (nine goals on 20 shots) against UAA.

His goal was set up by the Schwartz brothers. Jaden forced a UAA turnover along the boards and fired a centering pass to Rylan, whose shot squeaked behind Seawolves goalie Rob Gunderson for Rapuzzi to smack in.

Krushelnyski’s score was set up by a great individual play by Scott Winkler, who passed from behind the net to the sophomore, the hero of the 4-3 overtime win over rival Denver, in front for the one-timer and the 2-0 lead.

CC leads 2-1 after one

Alaska-Anchorage’s Mitch Bruijsten scored an unassisted shorthanded goal with 2:23 left to make it 2-1 headed into the first intermission Friday night at CC.

The shorty came after the sixth-ranked Tigers had dominated the first 15 minutes, jumping out to a 2-0 lead on goals by William Rapuzzi and Alexander Krushelnyski.

Colorado College junior wing William Rapuzzi continued to enjoy his best games against his hometown team. The right winger banged in a loose puck off a hard shot by Rylan Schwartz to record his ninth career goal against the Seawolves to stake CC to a 1-0 lead with 13:18 left in the first period.

Rapuzzi now has 11 career points (nine goals on 20 shots) against UAA.

His goal was set up by the Schwartz brothers. Jaden forced a UAA turnover along the boards and fired a centering pass to Rylan, whose shot squeaked behind Seawolves goalie Rob Gunderson for Rapuzzi to smack in.

Krushelnyski’s score was set up by a great individual play by Scott Winkler, who passed from behind the net to the sophomore, the hero of the 4-3 overtime win over rival Denver, in front for the one-timer and the 2-0 lead.