The 2007 NHL Draft saw the Colorado Avalanche use their first two draft picks on American defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk and Colby Cohen. While Shattenkirk was playing for the US National Under 18 Team during his draft year, Cohen was playing in the USHL with the Lincoln Stars.
Both players chose to attend Boston University and play under the guidance of BU coach Jack Parker. This has allowed the Avs to monitor both players progression at the collegiate level with positive feedback coming back for the most part.
With Shattenkirk, who was selected with the 14th overall pick, the Avalanche have seen him progress to become the first junior captain in BU history and become a potent offensive threat from the blueline. Shattenkirk will never be the biggest hockey player on the ice being only 5-11 but his strong hockey sense should allow him to excel at the pro level.
While John-Michael Liles is currently the best of the bunch when it comes to the Avalanche offensive defenseman, Shattenkirk should take over that position with the Avalanche when he fully develops his game. While his offensive skills are seen as top notch, he does have defensive deficiencies that need to be worked on before he is able to become a full-time pro. Shattenkirk will likely begin playing for the Avalanche’s AHL affiliate the Lake Erie Monsters next year.
Much like Shattenkirk, Cohen who was selected with the 45th overall pick, is seen as an offensive player from the blueline but relies on one particular aspect to make him successful. Cohen has a blistering shot that has made him a staple on the BU power play and his shot is seen as NHL ready by scouting services. While Shattenkirk is expected to leave BU after the season, Cohen will likely stay another year to develop his skills and than make the jump to the pro level with Lake Erie.
Along with Shattenkirk and Cohen, the Avalanche also have promising defenders Stefan Elliot, Cameron Gaunce and Tyson Barrie in the system making them one of the stronger organizations in the league when it comes to defensive prospects. The future does indeed look bright for the Avalanche on this front.
About the Author
Written by Igor Henriques
A sports enthusiast with a passion for hockey,soccer,basketball,football, and baseball