Saturday, June 23, 2007

Shattenkirk and Cohen fly a mile high!

With several presidential candidates choosing campaign theme songs, selecting a tune for the incoming BU freshman class now is a no-brainer. It just has to be John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High,” now that the Colorado Avalanche has followed up its first round choice of Kevin Shattenkirk by selecting Colby Cohen with the team’s first of three second rounders, #45 overall. More on Cohen's selection later today.

In announcing the club’s selection of Shattenkirk, Avs Chief Scout Ted Hampson told the Denver Post, “We're real high on his skill level and his hockey sense. He always seems to do the right things with the puck and without the puck. We had to wait and watch several players that we had behind him get taken by other teams, so we were excited to see him there." Additional coverage of the choice is on the Avs Web site and in the Rocky Mountain News .

INCH (Inside College Hockey) draft notes

Boston University-bound Kevin Shattenkirk of Greenwich, Conn., was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche with the 14th overall pick. The defenseman will have the opportunity to make an impact on the Terriers right away, since three of their regular defensemen last season graduated. The coaching staff and city drew Shattenkirk to Boston University.

"I love the coaches there. I worked with David Quinn in the recruiting process and he was just a great guy and has a lot of knowledge of the game. Obviously coach (Jack) Parker is a famous coach and you can't really go wrong there. I love the city of Boston and felt in the end that it was the best fit," Shattenkirk said.

Draft tidbits

The Rockies have compared Shattenkirk to their standout puck-moving defenseman John-Michael Liles, who also was an NTDP standout prior to his college career at Michigan State and are hoping Shattenkirk’s development will emulate Liles’. That path would be more than okay for Terrier coaches and fans. Liles became Michigan State’s all-time top goalie-scoring defenseman, a two-time All-American and a Hobey Baker finalist in his four seasons as a Spartan. Like Shattenkirk, Liles grew up a fan of New York Rangers star Brian Leetch.

Longtime Terrier fans will have spotted two former Terriers making stage appearances during the first-round proceedings. When Patrick Kane (sigh) posed in his Blackhawk jersey, one of the Chicago officials with him with scout Ron Anderson, a high-scoring winger on BU’s 1971 and 1972 NCAA championship teams and a former head coach at Merrimack. Anderson’s assistant coach on those Terrier title teams, Bob Crocker, now a Los Angeles Kings amateur scout, was part of the Kings entourage that took the stage to select Thomas Hickey with the 4th overall choice. Crocker is the dean of New England NHL scouts.

In a recent McKeen’s Q&A interview, Shattenkirk was asked to name the top five skaters he’d played with or against. Four of the five—Patrick Kane, James Van Riemsdyk, Alexi Cherepanov and Angelo Esposito—also were first round choices in the draft, with Kane and Van Riemsdyk going first and second overall. The fifth player, Shattenkirk’s NTDP teammate and fellow BU 2007 recruit, Colin Wilson, will be eligible for next year’s draft.

By being selected 14th overall, Shattenkirk is the 7th Terrier to be selected in the first round of the NHL draft, 14th overall, just behind his new blueline mentor David Quinn, who was picked 13th in 1984 by the Minnesota Stars. USA Hockey has prepared a listing all previous American born players chosen in the first and second rounds of the draft, including former Terriers Quinn, Scott Young, Keith Tkacuk Mike Pomichter, Jay Pandolf, Jeff Kealty, Rick DiPietro, Ryan Whitney, Mike Pomichter, Jay Pandolfo, and now Shattenkirk and Cohen.

San Jose made some draft day trades to open up cap room for a reported effort to sign free agent Chris Drury. If the former Hobey Baker Award winner does head to the left coast, he’d once again be reunited with Mike Grier, his teammate at BU and with the Sabres.

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