News & Notes From Around Pioneer Nation

With the Islanders drafting 6'7" Finnish goaltender Mikko Koskinen with the first pick in the 2nd Round, DU Alum Peter Mannino is the odd man out in the New York Islanders system. Mannino will now become a free agent and try and land with another AHL team. has a couple of paragraphs on incoming DU Freshman Drew Shore. Shore was expected to go in the first round of many Mock Drafts but suffered the same fate as many college bound American players. Many Swedes went higher than expected and most American players fell around 10 picks or so, including most of Shore's teammates on the US Development Team.

ESPN-Chicago has a short paragraph on incoming DU Freshman Paul Phillips, who was drafted by the hometown Chicago Blackhawks this week in the 7th Round. Phillips is described as being, "A solid defenseman who doesn't turn the puck over. To be defined as a smart hockey player is a great compliment. Phillips will be headed to a fine hockey program [DU] to continue his dream of becoming an NHL player."

Wiercioch To Attend Senators Development Camp

(above) DU Sophomore to be Patrick Wiercioch will attend the Ottawa Senators Development Camp this week

From: Ottawa Senators Website

As the Ottawa Senators gathered for their annual team photo in early April, a young defenseman stood off to the side, soaking in the moment.

Soon enough, Patrick Wiercioch – who was brought to the capital to experience the atmosphere around a National Hockey League team – might find himself in the middle of that picture.

Literally and figuratively, that is.

The 18-year-old native of Maple Ridge, B.C., turned in a standout freshman season for the University of Denver Pioneers and already the whispers have started about just how soon he'll be ready to make an impact on the Senators blue line.

Much like Erik Karlsson, a fellow member of Ottawa's draft class of 2008 – the slick Swedish defenceman was the Sens' top pick a year ago (15th overall), while Wiercioch was chosen in the second round (42nd overall) – it comes down to size and strength. While Wiercioch is an impressive 6-foot-4, that frame only carries 185 pounds.

"He's a tall, lanky kid," said Brent Flahr, the Senators' director of hockey operations. "But he has very good hands, good offensive instincts and he can really shoot the puck."

All of that showed during his freshman season at Denver. He racked up 12 goals and 23 assists in 36 games, with his goal, assist and point totals topping all first-year blueliners in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). Wiercioch's dozen goals made him No. 1 among defenceman in the conference in that category and he rated as the second-highest scoring blueliner in the entire nation.

"He was at about a point a game as a freshman in the WCHA, which is a high level for college hockey," said Flahr. "He met or exceeded all of our expectations as a freshman."

Wiercioch also put himself on Hockey Canada's radar screen, earning an invite to the final selection camp for the IIHF 2009 World Junior Championship in Ottawa. It was a mighty leap for a player who wasn't even a part of the Team Canada summer camp group.

Earning a ticket to the final camp "was a pretty good honour for a kid who wasn't even on the map with them during the summer time," said Flahr.

"He has a legitimate chance to make that team this year," he added. "He gained great experience and had a lot of fun with it. He had a strong second half of the season (in Denver). Once he gets stronger and grows into his body, we have high hopes for him."

Earlier this season, Wiercioch credited his experience at the annual Senators development camp last summer with kick-starting his growth in 2008-09.

"The big step for me was coming to development camp here," he said. "I thought generally, I was a hard-working, determined athlete on and off the ice. But once I came to development camp, I saw guys like (Nick) Foligno and Cody Bass, who were a step away from the NHL, and the (Jesse) Winchesters and how hard they work. And they hadn't stuck yet, so it kind of puts your life in perspective.

"The stuff I learned in camp – on and off the ice – in the nine days I stayed here helped me throughout the summer to try to get that (right) mindset heading off to college."

As of now, Wiercioch is headed back to Denver this fall for his second season with the Pioneers. He'll also attend Senators development camp, which begins June 30.
William Wrenn Selected by San Jose Sharks In 2nd Round (#43) ... Drew Shore Selected by Florida Panthers In 2nd Round (#44) ... Paul Phillips Selected by Chicago Blackhawks In 7th Round (#195) ... DU Season & Single Game Tickets Now Available

DU Roster Littered With NHL Draftees

DU's 2009-10 Roster will feature a program record 13 players that have been drafted by NHL teams. DU players have been drafted in every round of the NHL Draft.

The University of North Dakota will have 15 players on its Roster next season who have been drafted, but none in the 1st Round.
1st Round - Colborne (BOS)

2nd Round - Wrenn (SJS), Shore (FLA), Wiercioch (OTT)

3rd Round - Gifford (PIT)

4th Round - Donovan (NYI), Rakhshani (NYI)

5th Round - Lee (FLA)

6th Round - Ruegsegger (TOR)

7th Round - Glasser (EDM), Martin (ATL), Cheverie (FLA), Phillips (CHI)

Odds Of Making NHL After Being Drafted

Using data from the 1990's, the odds of playing in 200 NHL games after being Drafted:
1st Round Picks - Over 50%

2nd Round Picks - 25%

3rd Round & Higher Picks - 12%

Shore Is Hometown's Highest Drafted Player

(left) Incoming DU Freshman Drew Shore sports a Florida Panther jersey yesterday

From: Denver Post

MONTREAL — Denver native Drew Shore became the highest NHL draft pick to hail from Colorado when he was selected 44th overall Saturday by the Florida Panthers.

Shore, who will attend the University of Denver this fall as a freshman, played in the Littleton youth program growing up. He left home at age 13 to play bantam hockey in British Columbia and spent last season playing for the U.S. under-18 team (49 points in 62 games).

The 6-foot-3 defenseman had hoped to go in the first round, but was happy to join the Panthers' organization.

"(Friday) was a disappointing night," Shore said. "But I don't know, getting picked today, it doesn't really matter where you get picked, it matters what you do after that so it's only going to make me a better player."

Defenseman William Wrenn, a native of Anchorage, Alaska, and another incoming DU freshman, was taken right before Shore at No. 43 by San Jose. The only other DU recruit drafted Saturday was defenseman Paul Phillips, taken by Chicago at No. 195.

Draft Triggers Wrenn & Matt Carle Comparisons

(above) Incoming Freshmen William Wrenn was drafted by the San Jose Sharks yesterday

From: Anchorage Daily News
by Doyle Woody

Rugged defenseman William Wrenn on Saturday became the fifth-highest NHL draft pick in Alaska hockey history, and the similarities between his career path and that of another elite blueliner from Anchorage are eerie.

The San Jose Sharks selected Wrenn in the second round, making him the 43rd overall pick at the draft in Montreal. In 2003, the Sharks picked defenseman Matt Carle in the second round, 47th overall.

Wrenn, 18, entered the draft ranked 54th among North America skaters by the NHL's Central Scouting Service, but was the 33rd North American skater drafted. Carle entered his draft ranked 66th among North American skaters, but was the 37th such skater chosen.

Wrenn is coming off two seasons in USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. Carle, likewise, played two seasons in that Ann Arbor, Mich.-based program.

Wrenn earlier this year captained the Americans to the World Under-18 championship. Carle played on the U.S. team that won that title in 2002.

Wrenn later this summer is headed to a USA Hockey camp for prospects under consideration for next season's World Junior Championship. Carle played on the U.S. squad that won the World Junior title in 2004.

Wrenn will play hockey at the University of Denver in the fall. Carle played three seasons for the Pioneers before turning pro.

All those similarities were not lost on Wrenn.

"It kind of creeped me out for a second,'' he said by cell phone from Montreal.

If Wrenn even remotely continues to mimic Carle's career path -- granted, that's asking a lot -- he's in for a thrilling ride.

Carle won two national championships with Denver, earned the Hobey Baker Memorial Award in 2006 as college hockey's best player and scored a goal in his NHL debut later that year. Carle, who currently plays for the Philadelphia Flyers, earned $2.95 million last season and will make $3.5 million in the upcoming season.

While Carle as a teenager was coveted for his offensive ability, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Wrenn is generally considered a more physical blueliner who is particularly strong in his own zone.

Still, the right-handed shooter -- Carle shoots left -- is developing an offensive game and a reputation as a burgeoning two-way defenseman. Wrenn earned 6-11--17 totals in 60 games last season.

"I guess my forte is being tough in the defensive zone,'' he said. "I'm a good skater, and I also have some offensive upside.''

Wrenn attended the draft with his parents, Allison and Bobby of Anchorage. He said he heard some talk he might be a late first-round selection Friday but expected to be chosen in the second round.

"(First round) would have been kind of a surprise,'' Wrenn said. "I was kind of set on, hoping for, second round. Third round would have been a letdown, so I landed right where I expected to.''

Wrenn's path to prosperity was like that of many Alaska players -- he left home as a teenager to pursue his dreams -- but it was also an accelerated journey.

After playing youth hockey for the Alaska All Stars, Wrenn moved to Los Angeles before his freshman year of high school and played two seasons in the LA Selects competition program before hooking up with the national program.

"It seemed like an OK deal, another path available,'' Wrenn said.

The move Outside required sacrifices from Wrenn -- he missed family and friends and had to adjust to a new environment -- but he has flourished.

"It was hard leaving home, being 14 and entering my freshman year of high school, heading off to live with another family,'' Wrenn said. "It was a little bit of a shock to leave my buddies.

"I think I definitely matured faster. I had to grow up faster and learn to handle my own problems, even little stuff like doing my own laundry and making my own food.''

Sharks Interview Video Of William Wrenn

Drew Shore Interviewed On NHL TV

Chicago Selects Hometown Hero Paul Phillips

The NHL Chicago Blackhawks selected Darien, Illinios native and incoming DU freshman Paul Phillips in the 7th Round of the NHL Draft today.

Phillips played last season with the Cerar Rapids RoughRiders along with fellow DU recruit Matt Donovan.

William Wrenn and Drew Shore were selected in the 2nd Round earlier in the day. No other DU recruits were drafted.

Wrenn & Shore Selected Back-2-Back In 2nd Round

(above) William Wrenn & Drew Shore have their names appear next to each other on the NHL Draft Board in Montreal on Saturday

University of Denver recruits William Wrenn and Drew Shore were selected in consecutive picks in the 2nd Round today at the NHL Draft. The San Jose Sharks selected Wrenn with the 43rd pick in the draft and Shore went to the Florida Panthers with the 44th pick.

San Jose selected former DU star Matt Carle in the 2nd round back in 2004. Wrenn will try to duplicate Carle's success on the blueline.

There was some hope that the Colorado Avalanche would select Denver native Drew Shore with the 33rd pick, but they bypassed the hometown Shore for Canadian Ryan O'Rielly.

"He’s a big right handed centerman off to Denver University next season," Panthers' director of scouting Scott Luce told the team's website just after Shore's selection.

"He’s starting to come into his own as a prospect. He had a good under-18 tourney this past April. He needs to work on strength and his battle down low. But he’s a driven guy and wants to be a hockey player. He going to to great program in Denver...more than likely he’ll turn pro before he graduates."

DU Alum Ryan Dingle Involved In Pronger Trade

(above) DU Alum Ryan Dingle signs the jersey of a young fan before an AHL Iowa Chops game last season

by Ed Moran

Just before the NHL entry draft began in Montreal, Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren picked up Chris Pronger and 25 year-old minor league center Ryan Dingle from Anaheim in exchange for top young defensive prospect Luca Sbisa, forward Joffrey Lupul, and two first round draft picks, this year's and next. It was the biggest trade of the day during the 1st Round of the NHL Draft.

The 34-year-old, 6-6, 221-pound Pronger is a skilled puck handler and determined leader, but he is also one of the toughest defenseman in the league. A Norris Trophy and Hart Trophy winner in 2000, a three-time Canadian Olympian and gold medal winner in 2002, Pronger led the Edmonton Oliers to the Stanley Cup finals in 2000, and captained the Ducks' 2007 title.

The Pronger trade is sure to also affect another DU Alum Matt Carle, who also plays defense for Philadelphia. Whether Pronger takes playing time from Carle, Carle is subsequently traded, Philly trades some other defenseman or Carle earns playing time with Pronger, Carle will be impacted by the trade.

Holmgren said Anaheim had to trade one more player to get under the league minimum 50 contracts and that Dingle was the player he wanted out of several possibilities.

"We had our choice of a couple different guys, and I like Ryan," Holmgren said. "He's a good young player, came out of Denver University. Certainly he's not a throw-in per se, because he's a guy that we do have some time for."

CC's Prized Recruit Still On The Fence

(above) Colorado College still has no idea if its leading recruit will show up on campus next Fall

by Jim McConnelly

During Thursday’s NHL Media Luncheon with the top prospects, Colorado College freshman-to-be John Moore was put on the spot by event host and TSN and NBC analyst Pierre Maguire.

Asked Maguire, “We don’t want you to go to college, we want you to play major junior. Would you do that?”

On the spot, Moore answered with little hesitation something that CC coach Scott Owens likely would cringe to hear.

“Sure,” said Moore. “My dream is to play in the NHL and whatever that takes, I’ll explore all avenues, talk it out with my family and determine what’s best for me.”

The difficult question scenario that Maguire posed could be realistic as teams often prefer players to play a full, 80-game major junior schedule as opposed to the shorter 30-plus-game college season.

But, according to Moore, college provides an advantage that is often overlooked but made his decision to head to Colorado College in the first place easier.

“You get the strength and conditioning piece with college,” said Moore. “You’re practicing five days a week, so you can make tremendous strides both on and off the ice.”

When asked if he’s broached the subject of almost inevitably abbreviating his college career with CC’s Owens, Moore said the subject has been discussed.

“[Owens] has said all along, ‘If we can get you for even a year, we’d feel really lucky,’” said Moore. “From my standpoint, that’s all I can ask for.”

Bemidji & UNO To Join WCHA

LetsGoDU would like to take this opportunity to welcome the league's two newest doormats ... er .... I mean ... Lay out the welcome doormat for the league's two newest teams.

The Duluth News Tribune has all the details.

Mile High Hockey Blog Says Avs May Draft Pioneers

Angelique Murray who writes the Mile High Hockey Blog thinks the Colorado Avalanche may have a few players with DU connections in their sights on Draft Day. She thinks Drew Shore, Willaim Wrenn, Paul Phillips and former DU prospect Stepan Novotny are possible Avs draftees.

Check out her Colorado Avalanche Draft Preview.

Denver Post Looks At DU's Possible Draftees

(above) Drew Shore is featured on as a possible First Round Draft choice today

The NHL Draft kicks off tonight at 5 PM and several of DU's incoming recruits are expected to be drafted over the next two days. Mike Chambers of the Denver Post has an interview with Drew Shore on the eve of the Draft and looks at the other Pioneers who may be drafted.

WIlliam Wrenn May Be Surprise On Draft Day

(above) William Wrenn's three power play goals in seven games at the World Under-18 Championships this past Spring dispelled the myth that he is a one dimensional "Defensive Defenseman"

by John McGourty

William Wrenn is pleased to be considered one of the better defensive-minded defenseman available in the 2009 Entry Draft, but he hopes his stellar gold-medal performance in April's World Under-18 Championship shows NHL scouts he also has a good offensive game.

That offensive game, however, is one he reined in to be the player his coaches wanted him to be throughout the season with the United States National Team Development Program.

NHL Central Scouting's Gary Eggleston said Wrenn "plays a smart and steady game. He skates very well and has good mobility. He passes the puck quickly out of his own end. He backs up the play and his partner very well, and is a reliable stay-at-home defenseman. He plays the body very well and is a physical presence. He works very hard game in and game out and is consistent in his overall play. He is smart and poised and doesn't get rattled when pressured."

"My strong point is playing hard, tough defense," Wrenn said. "I like to hit and be physical, get in kids' faces. I'm good making the first pass to get out of our zone and I'm well-positioned.

"This was my first year at NTDP, and my offensive production fell off. The coaches on my team wanted me to be the best defensive defenseman I can be and told me to let other people worry about providing offense.

"The Under-18s showed that I do have offensive ability. I got confidence and showed I have some versatility, some offensive skills."

Wrenn had just 6 goals and 17 points in 60 games with the national team, but at the World Under-18's, he had 3 goals -- all on the power play -- in seven games. He also was a plus-5 with no penalties as he captained the team to a 5-0 shutout of Russia in the gold-medal game.

"I had won a national peewee championship with the L.A. Selects, but winning the World Under-18s was definitely the biggest accomplishment in my career," Wrenn said. "We worked two years for that gold medal and it actually happened. The crowd was chanting, 'USA, USA.' Going up to get that trophy and then bringing it back to my teammates was the best feeling I have ever had."

"This was my first year at NTDP, and my offensive production fell off. The coaches on my team wanted me to be the best defensive defenseman I can be and told me to let other people worry about providing offense. The Under-18s showed that I do have offensive ability. I got confidence and showed I have some versatility, some offensive skills."

Wrenn started playing hockey for the same Anchorage Boys and Girls Club program that has provided the NHL with Scott Gomez.

"I was young and looking for things to try, and hockey is pretty big in Alaska," Wrenn said. "My friends were trying out so I went to public skating at the mall rink and enjoyed it. I got a whole bunch of used gear and went to clinics. At first I thought it wasn't for me, but my parents said keep trying and see what happens. I started to like it and then fell in love with it.

"I was average until my first year of competitive hockey, which was two or three years after I started. Then I played for the Alaska All-Stars, where I did a lot of hard work and got great coaching from Bill Cohen, who showed a lot of faith in me. I was with them until bantam AAA.

"Then I played two years with the Los Angeles Selects, being coached by Jeff Turcotte and Newell Brown, the assistant coach of the Anaheim Ducks. We won the bantam national championship my first year and lost the next year in the semifinal."

NTDP scouts were watching.

"They scouted me at tournaments and select festivals," Wrenn said. "They talked to me at the summer festival after my bantam AAA year and offered me a spot. I spent two years with the development program and coach Ron Rolston. I learned a lot about defensive body positioning, stick positioning, not being too aggressive, and learning that keeping it simple is right. Ron made it clear that hard work gets you everywhere and you're not going anywhere without it."

It's a bit surprising that Wrenn's hockey hero is Joe Sakic.

"I used to be a forward when I was younger," he said. "I really liked the way he played and I liked that Avalanche team with Ray Bourque, Rob Blake, Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic, who was my favorite player and a great leader.

"I wear No. 19 because of Joe Sakic and I try to get it every year. I switched to defense in peewee AAA when my coach asked me to volunteer. I thought, why not give it a try? It all seems to have worked out now. It was a change at first. I scored a lot less goals."

Wrenn will attend the University of Denver this fall, along with fellow Alaskan and NTDP player, goalie Adam Murray.

"It's definitely going to be nice going to Denver with Adam, since we grew up together and are best friends," Wrenn said. "It will be fun and I'll be looking forward to it. Going away to college is nothing new. I left home a couple of years ago when I moved to Los Angeles to play hockey."

Season Tickets Go On Sale Today @ 10 AM

Season tickets for the 2009-10 season go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m. Ticket packages begin at $176. Individual game tickets go on sale Saturday, Sept. 5 at 10 a.m., with individual ticket prices ranging from $18-$35. Group tickets go on sale on Monday, Aug. 3. Please contact Adam Sizemore at (303) 871-2389 for group ticket prices.

DU Season Tickets: (303) 871-GOAL

DU Hockey Hosts "Select-A-Seat" On Thurs & Fri

The Pioneer Hockey Select-A-Seat event will be held at Magness Arena on Thursday & Friday, June 25-26th (10 am-5 pm).

Season tickets for the 2009-10 season go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m. Ticket packages begin at $176. Individual game tickets go on sale Saturday, Sept. 5 at 10 a.m., with individual ticket prices ranging from $18-$35. Group tickets go on sale on Monday, Aug. 3. Please contact Adam Sizemore at (303) 871-2389 for group ticket prices.

DU Season Tickets: (303) 871-GOAL

DU's 2009-10 Schedule

10/4 Calgary (Exhibition)
10/9 Vermont (DU Hockey Alumni Weekend)
10/10 Vermont (DU Hockey Alumni Weekend)
10/15 @ Ohio State (Thursday)
10/17 @ Ohio State - 1 PM (Nationwide Arena)
10/23 @ Minnesota
10/24 @ Minnesota
10/30 Minnesota State (Homecoming)
10/31 Minnesota State (Homecoming)
11/6 @ Alaska-Anchorage
11/7 @ Alaska-Anchorage
11/20 North Dakota
11/21 North Dakota
11/27 St. Cloud
11/28 St. Cloud
12/4 @ Colorado College
12/5 Colorado College
12/11 @ Minnesota Duluth
12/12@ Minnesota Duluth
1/1 Denver Cup (St. Lawrence, Boston College, Nebraska-Omaha) DU vs. UNO
1/2 Denver Cup (St. Lawrence, Boston College, Nebraska-Omaha) DU vs. BC or STL
1/8 Alaska-Anchorage
1/9 Alaska-Anchorage
1/22 @ Wisconsin
1/23 @ Wisconsin
1/29 @ North Dakota
1/30 @ North Dakota
2/5 Mercyhurst
2/6 @ Air Force
2/12 Minnesota
2/13 Minnesota
2/19 Michigan Tech
2/ 20 Michigan Tech
2/26 @ Minnesota State
2/27 @ Minnesota State
3/5 Colorado College
3/6 @ Colorado College
3/12-14 WCHA 1st Round Playoffs
3/18-20 WCHA Final Five-St. Paul, MN
3/26-28 NCAA Regionals (Worcester, St. Paul, Ft. Wayne, Albany)
4/8 & 10 Frozen Four (Detroit)

4 DU Freshmen May Be Drafted This Weekend

(above) TSN ranked two incoming DU Freshmen among the best 80 Draft prospects [click on picture to enlarge]

DU has four incoming Freshmen that may be drafted this weekend in the NHL Draft. The First Round will be held Friday and the draft will conclude on Saturday.

Drew Shore is expected to be drafted in the first or second round.

William Wrenn could go in the second to fourth round.

Paul Phillips and Adam Murray are candidates to go late in the draft or may just miss out on being drafted.

Blackhawks May Draft Drew Shore

From: Chicago Now Blog

The biggest lack of depth on the Blackhawks prospects chart appears to be at center. With that as my only compass entering the tangled forest that's called the 2009 National Hockey League mock draft, I choose center Drew Shore as Chicago's first-round draft pick.

The Hawks get the frightening chance to agree with me on Friday when the two-day draft begins in Montreal.

Shore is an all-American boy from Denver with an altar-boy face that will look perfect next to Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Shore, 18, has been playing on the U. S. National Team's Development Program and is headed for Denver University. He had 14 goals, 23 assists in 54 games in 2008-09.

Since budding pro athletes are now critiqued for how adeptly they crawl out of the cradle, Shore has already received his share of criticism. Too soft. Not fast enough as a skater. Is deceiving us all by looking like a player when he really isn't. Really should have been named for Dinah Shore. All that in a few short years.

At 6-foot-2, 190 lbs., Shore has the size if not the physical presence to be considered a guy who could mature into a more impact player than you see now. Shore says he believes that he can emulate San Jose's Joe Thornton, who has 265 goals, 577 assists over 836 games and 12 goals, 41 assists in 76 playoff games.

I say, buddy, I'd sure like to see that. Come on over to Chicago and prove it. I'll even tell you who Dinah Shore was.

"I like to create offense and be a playmaker," Shore explained on his YouTube profile.

Some scouts question whether Shore skates well enough to remain a center in the NHL and predict that he might have to move to a wing. But for now, we'll consider him a center until he proves otherwise. At 18, I'd say he has room to grow.

You also have to admire the backstory on Shore, whose parents knew next to nothing about hockey until their sons developed a love for the game. They'd fit right into Chicago, where the city mostly knows next to nothing about hockey until president John McDonough's continued brainwashing indoctrination takes hold over the next few years.

Shore is considered somebody that could go late first round or early second round. The NHL mock draft doesn't have him going to the Blackhawks, but to Washington in the 24th slot.

There may be enough hesitation about his skating and his potential to let him drop into the Hawks' hands.

DU Alums Will Play In Snoopy Hockey Tournament

Once again several DU Alums in their 60's will participate in the 2009 Snoopy World Hockey Tournament in Santa Rosa, California. For the third year in a row, Hockey' writer DJ Powers will be writing exclusive stories for LetsGoDU about our alumni team.

The DU Alums vs. University of Michigan Alumni, the final game in the 60A division, takes place on Wednesday, July 15 at 7:45 am. As usual Michigan head coach Red Berenson is expected to lead the Wolverine Alums.

DU is the defensing champions in the "Marcy Division" after defeating Michigan last year.

This year, the Snoopy Tournament officially gets underway on Saturday, July 11, which is a day earlier than in previous years.
“I want our players to get a sense of those who built the Denver hockey traditions. DU has a wonderful hockey legacy and we don’t do enough to celebrate it. We can’t think of a better way of opening the 2009/2010 season than with all of our Denver Hockey Alumni in attendance.”
- Coach George Gwozdecky

WCH Blog Breaks Down William Wrenn

Western College Hockey Blog looks at the NHL Draft and today has a feature on incoming DU Freshman William Wrenn.

Wrenn really helped his draft prospects at the Under-18 World Championships. He was captain of the team that won the gold medal, scored a huge goal in the tournament, showed some moxie on the power play unit and and was very popular with his teammates. At the recently completed NHL Combine, Wrenn was cited by several USNDT players as being a favorite teammate.

One NHL Mock Draft
has Wrenn projected as a Top 50 NHL Draft pick going in the mid-2nd Round.

Mike Chambers Blog Talks To Drew Shore

Mike Chamber's Blog has a conversation with incoming DU Freshmen Drew Shore. Shore began skating in DU's mini-mite program and is potentially a first round draft choice in this summer's NHL Draft.

DU Names Assistant Captains

(above) Matt Glasser will be one of DU's Assistant Captains next season

We already knew that Rhett Rakhshani was named captain of DU's hockey team in April, but today's Denver Post notes that fellow seniors Tyler Ruegsegger and Matt Glasser and junior Kyle Ostrow will be the assistant captains.

DU Trio Invited To USA Evaluation Camp

(above) Defenseman Matt Donovan has been invited to Team USA's Evaluation Camp

Incoming DU Freshmen Drew Shore, William Wrenn and Matt Donovan will be invited to Team USA's Evaluation camp. The Camp will be held in Lake Placid later this summer.

DU Sophomore's Joe Colborne & Patrick Wiercioch will participate in Team Canada's Evaluation Camp in December.

If any of the players are selected, they will participate in the World Junior Tournament over winter break in Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan. The top Under-20 year old players in the world will play in the Tournament.

DU's Projected Lineup & Depth Chart

With DU's Official Roster announced last week, LetsGoDU takes our second look at the projected depth chart and lineup on opening night against Vermont.

Rakhshani (15g, 22a) - Ruegsegger (15g, 11a) - Maiani (11g, 30a)
K. Ostrow (14g, 14a) - Colborne (10g, 21a) - Salazar (15g, 10a)
S. Ostrow (Fr.) - Martin (10g, 13a) - Shore (Fr.)
Gifford (4g, 8a) - Glasser (4g, 3a) - Jackson (3g, 9a)
[Vossberg (4g, 2a), Dewhurst (0g, 1a), Knowlton (Fr.)]

Wiercioch (12g, 23a) - Wrenn (Fr.)
Donovan (Fr.) - Lee (0g, 5a)
Brookwell (0g, 3a) - Nutini (0g, 3a)
[Ryder (0g, 6a), Phillips (Fr.), Cook (0g, 0a), Brehm (0g, 0a)]

Chevy (2.34 gaa, .921 sv%)
[Murray (Fr.), Paulgaard (1.61, .917 sv%)]

1st PP
Rakhshani, Colborne, Maiani
Wiercioch, Ruegsegger

2nd PP
K. Ostrow, Martin, Shore
Donovan, Wrenn

1st PK
Colborne, K. Ostrow
Wiercioch, Wrenn

2nd PK
Martin, S. Ostrow
Donovan, Lee

Drew Shore Ranked #19 In TSN Mock Draft

TSN projects incoming DU player Drew Shore will be selected by the New York Rangers with the 19th pick in the upcoming NHL Draft on June 26-27.

TSN also noted that Shore may be selected for the US Under-20 Team in December at the World Junior Championships. DU players Joe Colborne & Patrick Wiercioch are expected to play for Team Canada at the same tournament.

19. New York Rangers - Drew Shore - 6-3/195 - (Center/Right Wing) - (US NTDP)

He seems to have everything you want in a forward with size, speed and scoring touch around the net. There is no question Shore has enough hockey sense and puck skills to advance to the NHL someday and be a quality player. He plays with some passion and likes to get involved around the net and the dirty areas. His skating is not great, but once he gets moving he can keep pace with his faster linemates. He makes an honest effort in all three zones and tries to make sure his defensive responsibilities are covered. Shore will need some work on his skating and defensive play over the next couple seasons, but it is nothing glaring. At times, he can be inconsistent from shift to shift and sometimes does not get up for lesser competition. He's a solid overall pick for team that is willing to be patient and it is clear he loves playing for his country. He will be attending the University of Denver next season and should make a good case for the US U20 team in December.

DU Officially Announces 2009-10 Roster

(above) Click to enlarge

WCH Blog Breaks Down Drew Shore

With the upcoming NHL Draft two weeks away, Western College Hockey Blog breaks down the draft prospects of DU recruit Drew Shore.

Most NHL mock drafts have Shore going late in the 1st Round.

Name: Drew Shore

Team: US National Team - U18

Height: 6' 2 1/2"

Weight: 190 lbs.

2008-2009 stats: 53 games, 14 goals, 23 assists, 37 points

Chambers Article On DU Coaches Salaries

Mike Chambers has an article today in the Denver Post about the highest paid coaches at the University of Denver. There's a few surprises at the top of the list.

Needless to say, the article is sure to ruffle a few feathers. What the article doesn't mention is if DU supporters compensate or underwrite any of the salaries.

Another unanswered question is the role that Title IX plays, if any, in the salaries of female coaches or women's athletic teams.

All Colborne All The Time

The Hockey Writers Blog has an in depth two part interview with DU star forward Joe Colborne.

NY Times: Tierney Coming To Build DU Lacrosse

(above) DU landed on page B15 of today's New York Times

From: New York Times
by Joshua Robinson

Whenever the time came to hire a coach, college lacrosse programs across the country had been reaching out to Princeton’s Bill Tierney for years. They were not necessarily trying to pry him away. They just wanted advice from someone who had spent nearly four decades in the game — maybe a few names, or a couple of places to look.

When the University of Denver began searching for a coach last month, it was no different. Except, Tierney said, the more he heard about the job, the more he was intrigued.

On Monday, Tierney was announced as the Denver Pioneers’ new coach after 22 years, 6 national championships and 14 Ivy League titles with Princeton. This season, the Tigers finished 13-3 and lost to Cornell, the eventual runner-up, in the N.C.A.A. tournament quarterfinals. Tierney’s record at Princeton was 238-86.

“I’m not sure which came first, the right time or the right place,” said Tierney, who has grown children on the West Coast and whose son Trevor will join him as an assistant. “I’m about challenges. Until I came to Princeton, every other job I had was rebuilding, and we did that here.”

Tierney began his career building high school programs from the ground up. He did the same in his first college head-coaching job, taking the Rochester Institute of Technology to its first N.C.A.A. tournament within two seasons.

Even when Tierney moved on to an assistant’s position at the lacrosse powerhouse Johns Hopkins, rebuilding duties found him. He was appointed the Johns Hopkins men’s soccer coach without ever having coached the game and soon turned around the program, leading it to the N.C.A.A. Division III tournament.

When Tierney went to Princeton as the lacrosse coach in 1987, the Tigers had not won an Ivy League championship or played in the N.C.A.A. tournament for 20 years.

“Once you build something, the hard part is a) maintaining it and b) not letting your prosperity destroy your program,” he said.

Denver does not have to worry about such prosperity yet. The Pioneers have played at the Division I level for 10 years and are coming off a 7-8 season in which three players were dismissed.

Peg Bradley-Doppes, the university’s vice chancellor for athletics, said she believed that Tierney could do more than make the Pioneers contenders as they join the East Coast Athletic Conference next season. She said Tierney could turn Denver into a standard bearer for the game outside its traditional Northeast base.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to grow the sport,” Bradley-Doppes said.

Lacrosse is played now in dense pockets across the country, spread out like airline hubs. “We just need to connect the dots,” Tierney said.

But with more and more players playing the sport in high school, he said, the top tier of the college game is not growing quickly enough.

“There are more lacrosse players coming out of high school than Division I can possibly use,” Tierney said. “So your chances now of getting good players from out West or other ‘remote’ areas are so much better. You’ve only got to get nine a year and you can be great.”

Reaction To DU Lacrosse Signing Bill Tierney

"Jamie Munro did a fabulous job taking this program [DU lacrosse] from Division II to Division I to the NCAA Tournament. This isn’t like when I came to Princeton. I’m at a program that’s already established, and whatever problems it may have had recently don’t bother me. This is a great school with a great education, with scholarships and with a lacrosse-only stadium."
-New DU Lax Coach Bill Tierney

Inside Lacrosse had an exclusive interview with Bill Tierney.

LaxPower looks at the Tierney signing.

The Denver Post has a brief recap of the signing.

The Washington Times is skeptical that Tierney will be able to bring a championship to the Rockies.

Inside Lacrosse Blog says that DU's recruiting is going to get an immediate boost from the hire.

There is no joy in New Jersey as the news of Tierney's departure sinks in.

DU Stuns Lacrosse World By Signing Tierney

(above) Coach Tierney will bring East Coast Lax to the Rockies

With the University of Denver lacrosse program seemingly in shambles after last season, DU rocked the lax community by signing legendary coach Bill Tierney to the largest contract in Division I Lacrosse. ESPN reported that Tierney will make $250,000 per season to resurrect the Pioneers and guide them into the future. In 2009 DU suffered player expulsions, an insurrection and ultimately the firing of coach Jamie Munro.

Tierney molded Princeton University into a lacrosse power while winning six NCAA championships and 14 Ivy League titles. Princeton hadn't won an Ivy League title in the 20 years before Tierney took over in 1987. In his 22 seasons, his Princeton teams won NCAA titles in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2001, four of them in overtime.

"I don't leave Princeton unfulfilled, unhappy or disappointed in any way," Tierney said. "I leave Princeton for an opportunity that I never thought would come my way."

Tierney compiled a 238-86 record at Princeton and went 13-3 this season.

Tierney guided Princeton to eight NCAA finals, 10 NCAA Final Fours and 16 NCAA quarterfinal appearances.

At Denver, Tierney will coach with his son, Trevor, an All-America goalie at Princeton who played on the 1998 and 2001 NCAA championship teams. After college Trevor went on to play professionally for the Denver Outlaws.

"The expansion of the game to the West is exciting," Tierney said. "If we are truly going to make lacrosse a nationwide sport, we need for some programs out there to become great. I think I can help Colorado lacrosse become the launching pad for that movement. I am proud of what we were able to do together at Princeton. This has not been an easy decision for me."

DU Hockey's 60th Reunion Draws Closer

As we head into summer, the Denver Hockey Reunion Committee has been hard at work organizing the 60th Anniversary of DU Hockey Celebration planned for October. The committee has spent the past few months attempting to contact every alum who ever played for the Pioneers.

Its been a daunting task, but progress has been made with 110 Registrants (Players and Spouses), the event is taking shape.

Check out their website for more details and information.
“I want our players to get a sense of those who built the Denver hockey traditions. DU has a wonderful hockey legacy and we don’t do enough to celebrate it. We can’t think of a better way of opening the 2009/2010 season than with all of our Denver Hockey Alumni in attendance.”
- Coach George Gwozdecky

Colborne To Attend Bruins Development Camp

(above) DU player Joe Colborne will attend the Bruins Development Camp


The Boston Bruins already have determined that Joe Colborne, their top pick (No. 16 overall) in last year's draft, will return to the University of Denver for his sophomore year. However, the 6-foot-5-inch Jumbo Joe Jr. will be here in July for the club's development camp.

Woody Paige Mocks Avs On ESPN

(left) Former DU volunteer assistant coach P.J. DeLuca was shafted by the Colorado Avalanche yesterday

Needless to say LetsGoDU wasn't the only one who thought the Avs came down too hard on the Video Replay Coach after last season's disasterous last place finish in the Western Conference.

Especially since the Av's Video Coordinator was DU's popular former volunteer assistant P.J. DeLuca.

Mark Kizla of the Denver Post called the firings, "A bush-league move by a classy organization."

Woody Paige has this to say in the last minute of ESPN's "Around The Horn" (scroll to the very end).
Its a sad day in Denver. We've had the "Wednesday Morning Purge."

Avs Coach Tony Granatio has been fired along with three assistants and the video coordinator.

Why in the world would the fire the video coordinator? Why in the world fire P.J. DeLuca?

P.J., we luv ya.

The ESPN Moderator noted, "It was the first time Around The Horn had a segment dedicated to the video replay guy."

Colorado College Recruit Still Undecided

Not so fast '57 fans.

Colorado College's prize recruit, defenseman John Moore is still not 100% certain he is coming to the Springs next season, despite what the Springs fishwrap would have you believe. According to our friends at "Coming Down the Pipe," Moore has not made any kind of firm commitment to Colorado College nor to the Kitchener Rangers.

Sure he's signed a letter of intent to attend CC, but that only assures that he won't attend another NCAA school. It sounds like it will be a nervous summer for Scotty & the Merry Band of Chokers.

Earlier this week the Colorado Springs Gazette noted that Moore was definitely coming to Colorado College this Fall. Apparently the drama continues.
Defenseman John Moore, CC’s prized recruit and projected by many to be a first-round pick in the NHL draft later this month, has fielded plenty of calls from junior teams wanting his services. Once again, however, Moore expressed that he is definitely coming to CC in the fall.

“They’re calling my house, but I’m really happy with CC,” said Moore, who has maintained all year that he plans to attend college in the fall.

Moore said when he was at the NHL combine last week, teams told him how he could grow as a hockey player and a person at Colorado College. He said he likes the fact that he can get a great education while playing Division I hockey.

“To me, it’s kind of a no-brainer,” Moore said. “It’s the best of both worlds and I can’t wait to get out there.”

News & Notes From Around Pioneer Nation

Highly sought after recruit Drew Shore decided to come to DU instead of playing major junior hockey in Canada for the Chilliwack Bruins who held his WHL rights. Looks like Shore made the right decision, because the Bruins franchise is in disarray. Chilliwack was 19-46-2 last season.

In the mist of the Avalanche house cleaning yesterday, former DU volunteer assistant coach P.J. DeLuca was let go along with head coach Tony Granato and three others. It appears DeLuca was fired so that Pierre Lacroix could hire his son, Eric. DeLuca was in charge video for the Avs. Let's hope he gets a new gig ASAP.

NESN in Boston thinks the Boston Bruins may select Drew Shore with the 25th pick in the 1st Round of the NHL Draft this summer.

Two-time Olympic medal-winning figure skater Michelle Kwan will graduate from the University of Denver on Saturday. Kwan will receive a degree in international studies with a minor in political science.

NHL Tests Players For Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

(above) DU student David Carle retired from hockey after doctors discovered thickening of his heart at the NHL Combine last year

The 2009 NHL Combine took place last week in Toronto. For the first time, this year’s medical testing included the administration of an echocardiogram to each player.

2008 DU recruit David Carle, withdrew from the draft last year after doctors at the NHL Combine discovered symptoms that turned out to be hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the heart that has been linked to sudden death for athletes.

After the tragedies that befell hockey players Mickey Renaud and Alexei Cherepanov, the NHL decided to be proactive in the detection of any heart issues.

Happily, according to NHL Central Scouting Director EJ McGuire, no heart problems were found among the players who were in attendance. But had any such issues arisen, players would have been referred to their own cardiologists for further evaluation.

Fishwrap Trumpets Wiercioch Tryout Selection

(left) DU defenseman Patrick Wiercioch will tryout for Team Canada over Christmas Break

University of Denver players Patrick Wiercioch & Joe Colborne have been invited to tryout for Canada's National Junior Team in December. Wiercioch's hometown newspaper in Maple Ridge, British Columbia announced his selection.
Maple Ridge’s Patrick Wiercioch will get another crack at making the Canadian National Junior Hockey Team after being invited to the U-20 program’s summer development camp, being held August 5 to 10 in Saskatoon.

The local blue-liner did not make the final cut for last year’s team, which went on to win gold at the World Junior Hockey Championships.

The lanky defenseman was picked 42nd overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, and led the Denver University Pioneers in rookie scoring with 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in 36 games this season.

Wiercioch was second among all NCAA defensemen in scoring, and first among rookie blue-liners.

The 2010 World Junior Championships take place Dec. 26, 2009 to Jan. 5, 2010, in Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan.

DU Releases 2009-10 OFFICIAL Schedule

DU emailed out its official schedule yesterday.

The October 17th game against Ohio State may be played in Nationwide Arena home of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Looks like DU will take an extended XMAS Break to allow Colborne & Wiercioch to try out for Team Canada at the WJC Hockey Tournament.

DU opens at home against Vermont, a Frozen Four partipant last season.

The Pioneer Hockey Select-A-Seat event will be held at Magness Arena on Friday, June 26th (10 am-5 pm). Season tickets start as low as $176 an offer many benefits including discounted prices versus walk-up, flexible season ticket plans, seat exchange programs, discounted parking options, and more.

DU Season Tickets: (303) 871-GOAL

DU's 2009-10 Schedule
10/4 Calgary (Exhibition)
10/9 Vermont (DU Hockey Alumni Weekend)
10/10 Vermont (DU Hockey Alumni Weekend)
10/15 @ Ohio State (Thursday)
10/17 @ Ohio State - 1 PM (Nationwide Arena)
10/23 @ Minnesota
10/24 @ Minnesota
10/30 Minnesota State (Homecoming)
10/31 Minnesota State (Homecoming)
11/6 @ Alaska-Anchorage
11/7 @ Alaska-Anchorage
11/20 North Dakota
11/21 North Dakota
11/27 St. Cloud
11/28 St. Cloud
12/4 @ Colorado College
12/5 Colorado College
12/11 @ Minnesota Duluth
12/12@ Minnesota Duluth
1/1 Denver Cup (St. Lawrence, Boston College, Nebraska-Omaha) DU vs. UNO
1/2 Denver Cup (St. Lawrence, Boston College, Nebraska-Omaha) DU vs. BC or STL
1/8 Alaska-Anchorage
1/9 Alaska-Anchorage
1/22 @ Wisconsin
1/23 @ Wisconsin
1/29 @ North Dakota
1/30 @ North Dakota
2/5 Mercyhurst
2/6 @ Air Force
2/12 Minnesota
2/13 Minnesota
2/19 Michigan Tech
2/ 20 Michigan Tech
2/26 @ Minnesota State
2/27 @ Minnesota State
3/5 Colorado College
3/6 @ Colorado College
3/12-14 WCHA 1st Round Playoffs
3/18-20 WCHA Final Five-St. Paul, MN
3/26-28 NCAA Regionals (Worcester, St. Paul, Ft. Wayne, Albany)
4/8 & 10 Frozen Four (Detroit)

News & Notes From Around Pioneer Nation

Incoming DU recruits Drew Shore & William Wrenn were at the NHL Combine this past weekend. TSN reported, "Drew Shore (#28) is fit but he looks like he still has a lot of room to fill out. He's in great shape but he needs to get stronger."

104 prospects were at the NHL Combine. Wrenn was in the Top 5 in the "Pull Test," while Shore scored well in the "Fatigue Index."

As expected Joe Colborne & Patrick Wiercioch has been named to the Team Canada tryout roster for the World Junior Championships in December. Only four college players are invited and two are from DU.