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Prospect Ben Storm A Well-Rounded Athlete

by Alyssa Romeo / Colorado Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche prospect Ben Storm is hard to miss on the ice. At 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, his height and size make him one of the largest players Colorado has ever drafted.

The Laurium, Mich., native played for the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the United States Hockey League before heading to St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, where he is in his sophomore season.

Ben Storm

A well-rounded athlete, Storm competed in multiple sports at Calumet High School.

“I played football for four years, I was on the golf team for three years, one year on the track team during my senior year and played four years of hockey," he said.

Storm was an all-conference award-winner in track, an All-Upper Peninsula Defensive Player of the Year in football and still managed to be selected to Michigan’s All-State Dream Team in hockey.

“I was always busy playing sports," Storm said. "I always had something going on. I always had practice. I was a pretty busy kid."

The second youngest of nine children, he was not the only family member to play numerous sports, or the only one that measures over 6-feet tall.

“I have two other brothers and six sisters. A lot of my siblings are pretty tall,” Storm said. “My mom isn’t very tall, but my dad is 6’4” or 6’5”, so we got our tall genes from our dad."

According to Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper, the average height and weight of an NHL player is 6-foot-1 and 203 pounds, making Storm a little taller and heavier than the athletes seen on the ice today. The 20-year-old Storm knows as a defenseman that he has an advantage with his physical size and the reach of his hockey stick.

“It’s helpful in the corners having a lot more size than other players, being able to push guys around in front of the net and being a lot more physical with the smaller guys," Storm said. “Also having a longer stick is a big advantage, being able to pull the puck off the opponent’s stick."

Apart from the mere benefit of outsizing his opponents, Storm learned how to play defense at an early age by playing with all his older brothers and sisters.

“I was pretty fortunate to play hockey with everyone," he said. "Both my older brothers played hockey for a couple years and then they ended up playing basketball."

His two eldest brothers eventually settled on playing football and on the defensive line at Michigan Tech, where Storm was also offered a scholarship to continue the family legacy.

At the end of high school, he was forced to make a choice between a future in cleats or a future in skates. His choice was easier than expected.

“I’d have to say since Day One, hockey was my No. 1 thing. It was always my main passion," Storm said. "I mean I loved to play football too, but hockey was always my passion. I always wanted to play college hockey, so when the opportunity came to go play junior and eventually play here in St. Cloud, it was a pretty easy choice."

After one season of junior hockey with Muskegon and a commitment to St. Cloud State, Storm was chosen in the sixth round (153rd) by the Avalanche at the 2013 NHL Draft.

Coming from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where hockey is very prevalent, the sport has been a part of his life since he was at least 4 years old.

“I was always playing hockey. All my buddies played outside; at outdoor rinks; organized hockey and played street hockey," Storm recalled. "Everyone loves to play hockey, and I was just kind of born into it.”

He grew up an avid Detroit Red Wings fan and looked up to a very well known defenseman.

“My hockey idol is Nicklas Lidstrom," Storm said. "Lidstrom was probably one of the best defenseman in the NHL at the time. He was always fun to watch."

St. Cloud State has 34 games during the regular season that take up most of Storm’s weekends, but that does not stop him from excelling in academics. He was named to the 2014 NCHC Scholar-Athlete Team, which identifies student-athletes who have maintained a 3.25 grade point average or higher while appearing in at least 25 percent of their career games.

Outside the rink, Storm fills his time at the library studying for a degree in mechanical engineering.

“I don’t really hang out a whole lot at my apartment. I’m definitely not an all-A student, but I work hard and put a lot of time into it,” he said of his academics.

When he does have downtime between hockey and school, he likes to play music and video games.

“I like to play guitar. I’m big into music," Storm said. "I like to play video games. My favorite video game is NHL or Call of Duty. I don’t have a lot of time to really play video games, but over Christmas Break I played a lot with my roommates.”

After this season, Storm has two years left of NCAA eligibility at SCSU and is working to fine-tune all of his talents before he can start thinking about a possible career in the NHL.

“I think just my all-around game," he said of what he needs to improve on. "I need to work on a lot of things, all the little things. Skating, shooting, getting my shot off quicker, making good passes, making simple plays."

Although he has some more time to condition his game as an undergraduate, he has a positive outlook for his future.

“It’s always been my dream to play in the NHL," Storm stated. "For now, I’m just concentrated on getting better here in St. Cloud and helping our team win games.”

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