2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Kivihalme, Olofsson soaking up every moment of NHL draft experience

    Sun, June 30, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Olofsson draft pickIncoming Colorado College freshman Gustav Olofsson and commit Teemu Kivihalme may still be catching their breath this morning. There’s little doubt they’re still smiling from the night before.

    Both defensemen were selected during the 2013 NHL draft with Olofsson picked 46th (second round, No. 16) by Minnesota and Kivihalme 140th (fifth round, 19th pick) by Nashville.

    Olofsson was the Wild’s first selection at the Prudential Center in New Jersey Sunday night.

    “It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Olofsson said early Monday morning Manhattan time after running a gauntlet of interviews and pictures with Wild coaches, staff, family, friends and media. “It probably will overnight.”

    Kivihalme had a similar experience after hearing his name called.

    “It was definitely a heart-stopper,” he said.

    Both said their NHL organizations support them playing for Colorado College.

    “They said they like CC because they tend to develop good NHL defensemen,” Kivihalme said.

    “No doubt,” Olofsson said. “It’s all good with them as long as I develop.”

    Both are headed to NHL prospect camps next month. Olofsson will move to Colorado Springs in August.

    Many draft prognosticators predicted Olofsson, listed at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, would go as late as the third round.  But the U.S. Hockey League all-rookie team honoree (23 points, 21 assists) did better than expected because he showed considerable offensive potential for a defenseman.

    “Gustav is a big mobile defenseman that really jumped up our draft rankings,” Wild assistant general manager Brent Flahr said. “He’s an intelligent player with quality natural instincts for the game. We feel like his game will continue to improve as he gets stronger and gains experience.”

    His younger brother Fredrick, a forward, is a CC commit scheduled for 2014.

    Olofsson, 18, was the sixth college player chosen. He became a San Jose Sharks fan while a youth player in northern California. The minute his name was called, he became a die-hard Wild fan.

    “It’s funny how that changes in instant,” the Broomfield High School graduate said. “Even my younger brother has a new favorite.”

    Kivihalme, a 5-foot-11, 161-pounder, is named after NHL star Teemu Selanne.

    The 2014 commit has dual citizenship with Finland and the USA, competed at the 2012 Under-18 Ivan Hlinka tournament for the Americans. He led Burnsville, coached by his father Janne, who played at Division III Wisconsin-Superior, to a Minnesota high school section final. He recorded 73 points (53 assists) in 77 high school games in three years.

    kivihalme pic“I see him more as a two-way defenseman, and I hope that’s what he can be,” Predators North American amateur scout David Westby said. “He has decent size, skates really well and has terrific hockey sense. He’s a son of a coach. He knows how to play the game. He makes good puck decisions, first passes, skating out of trouble if needed, and can carry or jump into the play. He can run the power play. He has a good shot from the point. He defends very well. His gaps are good. He eliminates and takes away space. We think he has a big upside. We’re excited about him. “

    The high school senior said he will play for the Fargo Force of the USHL next season before signing with CC.

    Olofsson will be among five draft picks on CC’s roster next season, joining fellow freshman Jaccob Slavin (Carolina 2012), sophomore Hunter Fejes (Phoenix 2012), and juniors Aaron Harstad (Winnipeg 2011) and Peter Stoykewych (Winnipeg, then Atlanta 2010) in that distinction. All except Fejes, who played left wing for the Tigers last season, are defensemen.

    The top pick who ever played for CC was St. Louis wing Jaden Schwartz who was the 14th pick in 2010. Former Tiger and Winnipeg defenseman Mark Stuart went 21st in 2003 to Boston.

    Incoming Western Michigan forward Mike McCarron was the first college player picked (Montreal, No. 25) and was the only one in the first round.

    National Collegiate Hockey Conference programs had 20 current, incoming players or commits selected, led by six picks for North Dakota and three for Denver. CC, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha, St. Cloud State and Western Michigan had two apiece and Miami one.

    In all, 63 players with current of future ties to 29 of the 59 Division I programs were selected. Former college hockey players made up 30 percent of the NHL in 2012-13, including 12 members of the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

  • CC signee Olofsson taken 46th overall by Wild

    Sun, June 30, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Gustav OlofssonIt proved to be a Wild day for incoming Colorado College defenseman Gustav Olofsson.

    The native of Umea, Sweden was the 46th pick overall (16th, second round) by Minnesota.

    Many draft prognosticators predicted Olofsson, 18, would go in the second or third round after he was rated as the 51st North American skater in the final pre-draft NHL Central Scouting rankings.  

    The U.S. Hockey League all-rookie team honoree (23 points, 21 assists) and the junior league’s NHL Prospects Game invitee has good offensive upside and anticipation.

    Olofsson’s family moved to Broomfield three years ago.

    Tigers 2014 defenseman commit Teemu Kivihalme is slated for the later rounds. The 5-foot-11, 165-pounder, who is named after NHL star Teemu Selanne, was No. 64 among North American skaters.

    Kivihalme, who has dual citizenship with Finland and the USA, competed at the 2012 Under-18 Ivan Hlinka tournament for the Americans, led Burnsville to a Minnesota high school section final and played for the Fargo Force of the U.S. Hockey League.

    The top pick who ever played for CC was St. Louis Blues wing Jaden Schwartz, 21, who went with the 14th overall pick in 2010. Winnipeg assistant captain Mark Stuart, 29, went 21st in 2003 to Boston.

    This year, incoming Western Michigan right wing Mike McCarron was the first college player picked by Montreal at No. 25. He was the only one chosen in the first round.  It is the highest pick ever for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference school.


  • In the pros: Dineen headed to Lillehammer

    Fri, June 28, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    lillehammer logoFormer CC captain Nick Dineen signed to play pro hockey for Lillehammer in Norway, he and the club announced today.

    Dineen, an all-star for KooKoo in the Finnish Tier 2 league last season,  will play for his old USHL junior coach Kevin Hartzell, formerly of the Sioux Falls Stampede.

    “Happy to be part of @LillehammerIK for the upcoming season and to be playing for my old coach again,” Dineen tweeted. “Gonna be a great year.”

    “This is a player our new coach also wanted to put in place and we are confident that we will have a good two-way center that becomes an important part of our team building,” general manager Tor Nilsen said.



  • Weekend reading: NHL Draft, Prosser, LeBlanc ESPY nominee, Hockey East playoffs

    Fri, June 28, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    kivihalme picHere is a write-up on future Tiger defenseman Teemu Kivihalme who is a likely late-round pick in this Sunday’s NHL Draft.

    Incoming CC freshman Gustav Olofsson is a possible second or third-round pick. A feature on Olofsson is scheduled to appear in the Gazette this weekend.

    Former Tiger Nate Prosser is part of the Wild’s annual fan tour around Minnesota.

    Hobey Baker winner Drew LeBlanc is nominated for an ESPY award. Fans may vote online.

    Hockey East changed its playoff format to include all 12 teams once Notre Dame (2013) and UConn (2014) join.

  • Wednesday reading: Holmstrom, NHL Draft profiles, 5 Things to Know about NCAA hockey, committee urges better rule enforcement

    Wed, June 26, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Josh Holmstrom actionUMass-Lowell incoming senior forward Josh Holmstrom, pictured celebrating, of Colorado Springs made his third-straight appearance on the Hockey East All-Academic Team, which required a minimum 3.0 grade point average in both semesters over the 2012-13 academic year.

    Here are various NHL Draft profiles of incoming North Dakota recruit Gage Ausmus.

    This Five Things to Know about college hockey article out of Canada has a lot of interesting facts, some many college fans already know, but it is definitely worth a read. Thanks to Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald for finding this.

    The NCAA rules committee did not recommend any rule changes, but did want current rules more effectively enforced.

    Maine hired back a former assistant.

  • Tuesday reading: Hale heads overseas; assault on Holmstrom; Toews in elite group

    Tue, June 25, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Former North Dakota defenseman David Hale of Colorado Springs, finished up his degree over the past two years and is now off to Eppan of the Italian league to continue his professional hockey career, according to the UND beat writer and Hale’s sister-in-law.

    UMass-Lowell player Josh Holmstrom reportedly was assaulted by a bar owner this May.

    Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic and Scott Stevens are the only players to captain two Stanley Cup champion teams over the past 30 years. North Dakota standout Jonathan Toews  has now done the same.

  • Monday reading: Minnesota tournament name ballot; things looking up in Anchorage; Mandi Schwartz fundraiser

    Mon, June 24, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    HansenYou have until June 28 to vote on the name of the new Minnesota college hockey tournament.

    NCHC foe Western Michigan announced its incoming freshman class (10 players), which includes a former Air Force commit and does not include Paul Stoykewych, younger brother of CC’s Peter.

    A five-year, $150,000 annual contract for new Alaska-Anchorage coach Matt Thomas is loaded with incentives.

    The Seawolves assistant who was doing all the offseason work (scheduling travel, freshman workouts, etc.) solo is retained by Thomas.

    That move and a decent length to the contract points to better times in Anchorage according to beat writer Doyle Woody.

    The new online video streaming plan for the WCHA looks to be a good fit.

    The NAHL has had a big year generating college commitments.

    A Mandi Schwartz charity benefited greatly from a recent golf tournament  in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

  • UPDATE: Gwozdecky pulls out of Alabama-Huntsville coach search

    Thu, June 20, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Gwozdecky picFormer Denver coach George Gwozdecky was a candidate for the vacant Alabama-Huntsville coaching position and spent Wednesday on campus but told the Wiscosnin State Journal on Friday that he was no longer in the running.

    “The way my career has evolved, it wasn’t the right fit,” Gwozdecky said.

    Gwozdecky was seen walking into a campus facility with UAH athletics director E.J. Brophy on Wednesday.

    The Huntsville paper quotes Brophy as saying there are “a lot of high-profile applicants” out of the 50-75 who applied. Two interviews have been held so far, including, apparently, Gwozdecky.

  • Testwuide playing in Canada-USA exhibition series in Australia

    Thu, June 20, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    Testwuide USAA former Tiger, Mike Testwuide (No. 8), is playing for Team USA as part of an ice hockey exhibition series between American and Canadian players in  Australia this month (it is winter in southern hemisphere). He hopes their efforts will help grow the sport there.

    His section in the Sydney Morning Herald article  is below:

    Team USA’s Mike Testwuide said he jumped at the opportunity when rung by a teammate to become a last-minute inclusion on the tour – even if it meant he played defence instead of his usual role as a forward.

    “To come here and play hockey and have an experience with a great group of guys and have some good fans watch us, it’s going to be so special, and the fact it is in Australia is just an added bonus for us.

    “I had two of my best friends come over here and play who were from Colorado College (Addison DeBoer and Scott Thauwald). So I have known that there is a league here and it’s I growing, and hopefully we can grow hockey here even more.”

    Testwuide, who plays in the American Hockey League, the first tier beneath the world’s best league the  National Hockey League, said the timing of each hemisphere’s seasons favoured Australia.

    “You come down here and play and then you can still play a season over in the States, so it’s definitely becoming more and more a thing to do to come down here and I think that’s pretty cool.

    “It could just grow bigger and bigger because people are more willing to come down here.”

  • Scott Winkler family requests donation to Norwegian school in lieu of flowers

    Wed, June 19, 2013 by Joe Paisley with no comments

    winkler HSIn lieu of flowers, Scott Winkler’s family is requesting that people consider donating to a charity in the former Colorado College hockey player’s name benefiting a sports school, Norges Toppidrettsgymnas, he attended in Norway before moving to the United States to pursue hockey.

    Winkler, 23, died last week at his parent’s home. The cause of death remains unknown.

    According to a release from the family, the school educates and trains top athletes from around the country to help them reach their potential.

    Here is the available info:

    Att: Scott Winkler Donations

    Account nr:
    Iban: NO6915032546444