The newest Boston Bruins prospect, former Boston University defenseman Colby Cohen
, couldn't contain his enthusiasm for returning to his collegiate stomping grounds in and around the Boston area.
Today, Boston acquired Cohen from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Matt Hunwick. Cohen will report to Boston’s minor league affiliate in Providence (American Hockey League).
"When the Colorado GM called me and he’s like ‘We just traded you,' I was praying," said Cohen via cell phone. "I had a few cities in mind...and when he said Boston, I was like, 'Wow, this couldn’t be any better!'”
The 21-year-old Cohen made his NHL debut earlier this season for the Colorado Avalanche (Nov. 6) and skated in three games for the Avs. Cohen also registered one goal and 12 penalty minutes in 14 games for Colorado’s top minor league affiliate in Lake Erie (AHL).
"I think that I’m a two-way guy," said Cohen, when asked about his own style of play. "I think that I’ve had a lot of success in my career as an offensive defenseman.
"Obviously, I haven’t put up any points this year in Lake Erie or when I was in Colorado for a few games, but I just try to be a puck moving defenseman and make it easy on the forwards to get up the ice.
"I try to join the play when I can and I try to use my shot as much as I can," he said.
Cohen skated at Boston University for three seasons from 2007-10 and helped lead the Terriers to the NCAA National Championship in 2009.
For his career at BU, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound blueliner recorded 25-53-78 totals in 118 games.
"I’m sort of at a loss for words right now, because there’s not a better place that it’s going to happen -- I loved BU," said Cohen of returning to Hub of Hockey. "I never realized how much I loved it before I left, and I miss Boston in the worst way.
"I’m hoping to be in Providence, play well and help the team win there and, hopefully, just wait for a call up to the Bruins."
A native of Villanova, Pennsylvania, Cohen was originally drafted by the Avalanche in the second round (45th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
"I really tried to get stronger this summer," said Cohen of the jump from the NCAA to the pros. "Boston University [head] Coach [Jack] Parker and Coach Bavis and Coach [David]Quinn, the way they taught me over the last few years just made it pretty easy for me to transition [into the professional game].
"And, obviously I was fortunate enough to get to play a couple NHL games this season already."
As for starting with the Providence Bruins, thanks to that cup of coffee with Colorado, Cohen knows exactly what he has to do to make the jump back to the NHL.
"I think that I’ve just got to go there and play well," he said. "Hopefully they have me in their plans for the future, but obviously it all starts with me playing well [in the AHL]."