Zucker & Colborne Receive Hockey News Props

(above) The Hockey News loves DU recruit Jason Zucker

From: Hockey News Hot List
by Ryan Kennedy

1. Jason Zucker, LW – U.S. NTDP (USHL): As one of the few draft-eligible Americans at the world juniors, Zucker definitely put himself on the map with a great tourney filled with speed, hands and hard work. And yes, he was born and raised in Las Vegas. So how did he get into hockey?

“My brother Evan got me started when I was young,” Zucker noted. “Then I moved to L.A. when I was 10 years old and went from there.”

Zucker also played for Detroit Compuware before joining the NTDP, where he has soaked in the experience. The gritty winger also believes the team’s global schedule (which includes tournaments against European squads) helped prepare him for the WJC.

“It’s big for me because we play international teams over there as well,” Zucker said. “So we learn how to play the international style. You learn the teams.”

And the U.S. certainly did that in Saskatoon. But what can NHL teams expect from the youngster?

“I think I’m a fast, skilled player that can score goals and I’m a gritty player,” he said. “I’m gonna get in the corners and hit and do everything I can to help my team win.”

So far, so good on that account.
Draft eligible in 2010.

5. Joe Colborne, C – Denver Pioneers (WCHA): It may not be a great season to be a Boston Bruins fan, but how about this: Colborne is now running at a point-per-game clip for the Pios. That’s great news for followers of the 6-foot-5 power forward, who is also closing in on the 200-pound mark (that’s a good thing). Drafted 16th overall by Boston in 2008.


Aluuum said...

Colborne better learn how to hit sombody with authority if he wants to play N.H.L. Those love taps he delivers wont do.

Anonymous said...

Power forward? Cam Neeley just rolled his eyes somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Excuse the typo,Neely

Anonymous said...

Joe - double shifted even strength most games - 3 even strength goals. It's about time the coaches stopped giving him gravy time. Whatever happened to earning ice time. Really.
3 goals?

puck swami said...

Even strength goals are hard to come-by for almost all players. Joe has been one of the few consistent point producers on a team loaded with inconsistent producers. He is one of the few players who is a threat every time he's on the ice with his passing, long reach and ice vision. Sure, he's not as physical as some expected, and he's prone from coasting from time to time, but he has been a clutch player for the most part.

puck swami said...

As for Zucker, this kid is confident and fearless. Fast and good shot, great work ethic, good hitter and the kind of player that will be a tone setter at DU - probably will be a captain if he stays long enough.

To play as well as he did at 17 in the WJCs (historically a 19 year-olds tourney) is why the NHL scouts and Hockey News are so high on him.

Really looking forward to seeing him at DU next year.

Anonymous said...

Swami - half the DU players could have 3 goals with Joe's ice time.
Glasser has two and so does S. Ostrow.
All the 1st PP unit players have points, not just Joe - it goes with the territory. My point was (and is), ice time should be earned by results, not draft status. Double shifting a guy even strength is silly when he can only post 3 goals, and it's unfair to the other players. This young fella needs to get hungry again - that's up to the coaches to instill (say some time on another line, or let someone else go out for a second run when you want Rhett and Rugs out there.

dggoddard said...

Not going to argue with Colborne's even strength stats, because quite frankly they're disappointing. But lets take a look at some of the extenuating circumstances.

1). Only Ruegsegger, Chevy & Martin's stats are significantly better than at this point last season. Too many others have been underperforming.

2). I believe the Pairwise system deserves some of the blame. By making every game critically important, especially non-conference games, Gwoz can't afford tweak the lines or try different combos.

3). DU's conservative playing style of stressing defense first and then "lockdown" defense once they get the lead, really hurts the stats of a player like Colborne, who is at his best wheeling and dealing in the offensive zone in open space.

4). College hockey has become a special teams fiesta. No teams are scoring even strength and power play advantages are the difference between winning and losing. Blame very good goaltending and defensive first systems in the WCHA.

5). DU is not winning enough faceoffs. Considering how experienced this team is and the talent advantage DU has week in and week out, they are still only winning just over half the faceoffs.

6). College hockey has turned into a development league for the NHL. Start getting cute with Donovan, Wiercioch, Colborne or Wrenn and these guys will be in the AHL next season.

If there is one guy who could have a breakout game at any moment & record a hat trick its Colborne.

DU has 10 games left in the regular season against teams that the Pioneers have for the most part steamrolled earlier in the season. There's no way DU wins the National Championship without Colborne having a huge post season. To me he is the #1 key. Not because he's our best player, he isn't (Chevy, Rhett or Ruegs).

Colborne is the one guy who if he gets hot, nobody has an answer for.

Anonymous said...

Some of your comments are bang on Dggoddard, but others are half-baked.
NHL teams love have draft picks in the NCAA because they don't have to offer them a contract until they complete their 4 years. Joe would be toast in the AHL right now and that's why Boston has told him to stay put. As for getting hot and unstoppable, Joe has only 2 multiple point games (even strength) this year and poses not threat to get hot based upon how he plays at even strength. Only guys who got it right about this guy is Team Canada Jr.s who pulled no punches when they said he was too soft and could not present impact going 5 on 5. Sure he shines on the PP, but that does not a playoff hero make! Remember when Joe broke his finger DU went 5-1-1 with him out of the lineup. Hardly a franchise player. Better that DU does improve on face-offs, quits playing kitty-by-the-door when they get a lead, and for heaven's sake, quit double shifting a 3-goal guy. Let's see some of the other young guys get that ice time - might surprise a couple of coaches and some fans at the same time. Make no mistake Dggoddard, I don't have it in for Joe, he's a good player who I think would get better if he wasn't handed the icing all the time (more ice time than anyone else and 1st PP unit).