As the 2011-2012 Thunderbird teams prepare to start their seasons, a look back at the 2010-2011 season serves to remind all of our players, coaches, staff and parents what can be accomplished when hard work and excellence are our criteria for success. The Colorado Thunderbirds coaches, staff and organization continues to be committed to these key attributes and the resulting development and advancement of these fine young men.
2010-2011 Review: The Thunderbirds continue to raise the bar for what Tier 1 hockey is all about. Development and advancement are why these young men sacrifice so much of their time and energy. The Thunderbirds sent their U18 and U14 to the National Tournament this past April by winning the Rocky Mountain District Championships in Dallas, Texas in March. The U16 and U12 teams both lost in double overtime in the RMD Championship game. The Thunderbirds U18 finished third at the National Championship. The Thunderbirds had 10 players selected in the USHL Draft (Futures and Main Entry) plus three other former Thunderbirds were selected for a total of 13 players drafted in the USHL.
There will be nine players from the 2010-2011 season from U18 and U16 teams that will be playing Tier 1 Juniors in the USHL in 2011-2012:
Cedar Rapids Roughriders: Austin Ortega, Landon Smith
Chicago Steel: Christian Heil, Jaccob Slavin
Indiana Ice: Tyler Pham
Lincoln Stars: Brad Hawkinson, Logan Smith
Sioux Falls Stampede: Ian Mansfield
Waterloo Black Hawks: Matias Cleland
Six players from the 2010-2011 U18 team will be playing in the NAHL for the upcoming season:
New Mexico Wildcats: Jarrett Stark, Max Veatch
Wenatchee Wildcats: Dylan Abood, Robert Nichols, Jerad Tafoya
Wichita Falls: Brennan Bohnsack
We will have one player from the U18 team that will compete in the BCHL:
Coquitlam Express: Coda Engbar
and one player from the U18 team that will play in the NOJHL:
Soo Eagles: John Dora
College Commitments: The Thunderbirds had seven players accept Division 1 scholarships to play NCAA college hockey in two to three years:
Matias Cleland, Univ of New Hampshire
Christian Heil, Colo College
Brad Hawkinson, Univ of Denver
Gustav Olofsson, Colo College
Tyler Pham, Univ of Denver
Jaccob Slavin, Colo College
Landon Smith, Univ of Denver
Additionally, we had two players from the U14 team selected in the WHL Bantam Draft. We had fifty-eight Thunderbirds selected to participate in USA Hockey District Festivals. Twenty of these tbird players advanced out of the district festival to the USA Hockey National Festival this summer.
NHL Draft: The Thunderbirds had two former players selected this past June at the NHL Draft. Both players will be suiting up for the University of Denver Pioneers (WCHA) for the 2011-2012 season.
• Nick Shore, a forward, was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the 3rd round, 82nd overall.
• Josiah Didier, a defenseman, was drafted by the Montreal Canadians in the 4th round, 97th overall.
NCAA College Award: Tbird Alum Brooks Dyroff, who now plays from Boston College. He is a sophomore and he received the BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award at 2011 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four.