The 2015 NHL Draft is receiving early praise for the star power of the prospects expected to be at the top of the board. Many fans will also be keeping an eye on the bright pool of American prospects making their way through the ranks.
Forward Colin White of the U.S. National Under-18 Team is just one of those highly-regarded American skaters, and he will be among the participants in the third annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on September 25 at First Niagara Center.
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A native of Hanover, Mass., White’s road to the National Team program began with two years at Noble and Greenough School, the same institution that produced NHL players such as Mark Fayne (Edmonton) and Jimmy Hayes (Florida).
Since making the move from the Boston area to Ann Arbor, Mich., to join the National Team Development Program, White has been relishing the opportunity to improve certain facets of his game and prepare for the next stage in his hockey career.
“It was definitely a big adjustment for me (coming from Boston),” White said. “I made the adjustment pretty easily when I got here though. Everyone helped me out so much; the teachers have really helped me out with my schoolwork. After the first overseas tournament I kind of got in the swing of things, and it’s been great.”
White’s 2013-14 campaign with the NTDP really put him on the radar of NHL scouts. He finished second on the Under-17 team in scoring with 33 goals and 30 assists in 47 games, and also compiled a goal and two assists in eight games with the Under-18 team at the end of the season.
White’s impressive season was highlighted by a standout performance at the World Under-17 Hockey Championships. In the tournament’s six games, White led all scorers with 10 goals and eight assists, including one goal and one assist in a dominant 4-0 championship victory over the Pacific team from Canada.
“I really felt great coming into that tournament,” White said. “My linemates, Jeremy Bracco and Luke Kirwan, they played unbelievable as well.”
After completing high school and playing with the Under-18 team this season, White will attend Boston College along with two of his teammates, Bracco and defenseman Casey Fitzgerald, next fall.
The opportunity to return closer to home was appealing to White.
“A lot of my extended family went there, and I grew up watching them,” explained White. “It was an easy decision for me.”
White is one of several prospects expected to leave an impression in this month’s showcase game in Buffalo. The strides made by players coming out of the U.S. National Team Development Program have helped increase the profile of American hockey prospects in recent years.
If the current trend of top NHL prospects coming from the USA is any indication, look for waves of players to follow White and his teammates in the coming years.
“I think it’s definitely huge for USA Hockey,” White said. “Looking forward, I think it’s always going to be like that. I think USA Hockey is doing a great job with their organization and I’m excited for it.
“I’m looking forward to moving on and seeing what happens with USA Hockey, because I definitely think it’s going to make a huge impact.”