College hockey season is underway and without any other high-level North American hockey to enjoy, it’s getting served the spotlight. While the NHL and NHLPA are still negotiating the finances of the 2020-21 regular season and how it would even be scheduled, schools across the country are getting on the ice and featuring some top prospects for the world to feel at peace.
My one shred of normalcy as another week comes to a close, is sitting down, going on Twitter, and watching some of my favorite team’s prospects getting up to no good and making the opposition look like a team of underground trolls discovering ice for the first time.
First, it was watching this goal against Penn State from Flyers top prospect and University of Michigan defenseman Cam York. The sheer attitude to do that to a goaltender that probably has other things on his mind.
Ewww this is just dirty! Cam York backhand top shelf! pic.twitter.com/L1pR6qhRXQ— Michigan Hockey (@umichhockey) December 3, 2020
Thank you Michigan Hockey social media manager, it was quite dirty.
York has been known as a mobile, offensively-gifted blueliner ever since the Flyers selected him in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft. A responsible defender as well, York now has two goals and five points through eight appearances in his sophomore year.
It wasn’t just goals coming from Philadelphia college prospects last week, but University of Denver forward Bobby Brink was front and center with his uncommon playmaking ability in his second game of the season.
Carter Savoie is fitting in quite nicely #PioneerTogether pic.twitter.com/47v0enBXxt— Denver Hockey (@DU_Hockey) December 5, 2020
Brink (no. 24 for Denver) certainly does not let his 5-foot-8 frame get in the way of his path to the front of the net. An unsuccessful shot attempt that leaves the puck at his feet, the 19-year-old winger sends it across to Edmonton Oilers prospect Carter Savoie to bury the opening goal.
Two things kept on happening in Denver’s matchup against North Dakota: the person that runs the Twitter account kept on using emojis at the end of tweets, and Brink kept on racking up the primary assists.
Let's be clear on one thing, Brett Edwards can shoot the puck #PioneerTogether pic.twitter.com/5KEfOJaOhB— Denver Hockey (@DU_Hockey) December 5, 2020
Instead of a scramble in front of the net on a power play, Brink is able to enter the zone clearly and unleash an unstoppable cross-ice pass to give his team the lead in the third period. It might not have ended up being the game winner — Denver lost 3-4 in OT — but the Flyers second-rounder was able to pull out his bag of tricks to notch his first two points in his second game of the season.
If these two, along with the other Flyers prospects heading to the 2021 World Juniors this month, keep putting on this display of potential, I might just be distracted long enough to forget there is a pandemic going on for a minute. Both of these players are on their way to being projected into next season’s lineup, if they decide to turn professional. With all the hype surrounding them and highlights like these, I’m going to predict them as 2021-22 Calder Trophy co-winners. It’s the only reasonable thing to do at this point.