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Bruins Future Stars: Joe Colborne

Boston Bruins' first round draft pick of 2008, Joe Colborne holds the playoff MVP award for the Alberta Junior Hockey League in 2008. (Photo courtesy of http://ajhl.ca)

Wait, who is Phil Kessel? Oh he used to lead the Bruins in goals last year? Well that doesn’t matter anymore. With 19-year-old Joe Colborne coming up eventually, those goals will be made up in the near future for Boston. Colborne was drafted by the Bruins last year in the first round (18th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He currently plays for the University of Denver, who are currently 11-5-2 on the year. On the season he has six goals and eight assists for 14 points.

Colborne’s Roots

Born in Calgary, Alberta Canada, Colbornespent two seasons with the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. After his 2007-08 season he was named the 2008 RBC Canadian Junior A Hockey League Player of the Year.

In his 2006-07 season with the Kodiaks, Colborne recorded 20 goals and 28 assists in 53 games while collecting 44 penalty minutes. He saw much improvement in his game during his award-winning 2007-08 season. During that season he netted 33 goals and collected 57 assists for 90 points in only 55 games for Camrose. He also played for Team Canada West for the World Junior A Challenge in Trail and Nelson, British Columbia. He helped his team win the gold medal with his three goals and four assists in five games.

After being drafted by Boston, he went on to play at the University of Denver. In his first season at the collegiate level, Colborne was named one of the team’s Most Valuable Freshman. He played in all 40 games and finished with 31 points off 10 goals and 21 assists. He had eight multi-point games in his freshman season while providing a lot of clutch scoring at the end of the season against Colorado College and Wisconsin.

After being named one of the top freshmen to watch, Colborne wasn’t spectacular but he got his work done. He shared the Barry Sharp Memorial Award for Denver’s Top Freshman.

So far this year, he is tied for seventh on Denver’s roster in scoring with 14 points, but is still one of the younger players on the team.

Talent & Possible Mentors

Standing tall at 6 feet 5 inches and weighing in at 210 pounds, Colborne is not the smallest player on the ice. He is more of a playmaker as he has great vision on the ice. Hockeysfuture.com describes his game:

“He can finish and does possess an above average shot but he is a self-admitted pass-first player. Loves to control the puck on along the boards on the power play and find his teammates for gift goals.”

Now that sure sounds like one of the current players on Boston’s bench, Marc Savard. Although Savard doesn’t posses the height that Colborne does, they seem to be very similar in their style of play. If Colborne ends up being more of a playmaker, then the perfect mentor would easily be Savard. If Savard could take Colborne under his wing and show him how to compete in the NHL, then Colborne would be greatly benefited.

With his size on the ice, it is said that Colborne is a much softer player than most would expect. Maybe Zdeno Chara could show him how to be a force on the ice and really use his size. The only problem with having these current players help Colborne is that Colborne still resides in Denver and isn’t very close to seeing the ice at the TD Garden any time soon. He is still a work in progress and probably won’t be in Boston until after he visits Providence first. I am not sure if he is going to stay at Denver all four years, but there is the possibility that fans won’t see him for a couple years at least.

I know that a lot of players who are drafted high like Colborne end up seeing NHL ice fairly quickly, but that just might not be his case. He is seen as a determined player whose career goal is to play a long time in the NHL. As Bruins fans, we might just have to wait a couple of years until we even see him.

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