Colin White is no stranger to the international stage. Heading into the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships in Finland, White is one of the newcomers to the U.S. roster, but he brings with him plenty of experience representing the red, white and blue.
It was no mistake that White was named an alternate captain once USA Hockey landed in Finland last week. White will help lead the team along with captain Zach Werenski and fellow alternates Louie Belpedio and Auston Matthews. He’s a high-character player, a leader despite his younger age — he’ll turn 19 years old at the end of January.
“We're excited about our leadership group here in Finland,” U.S. coach Ron Wilson said. “Zach, Louie, Auston and Colin have led by example since day one in Lake Placid this past August and have the respect of everybody in the room.”
White was an alternate captain last season for the U.S. National Team Development Program and led his team to gold at the IIHF World Under-18 Championships this past spring in Switzerland.
“That experience was huge for me,” he said. “Just knowing that I’ve been overseas before. I’ve played with a bunch of these guys already. It was very helpful for me coming in, knowing some of the styles. It helped me a lot.”
White was also a captain with the U17 team during his first year with the NTDP in 2013-14. During that season, he started to gain the attention of NHL scouts during the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. In six tournament games, he led all scorers with a whopping 10 goals and eight more assists. In total he played in six international tournaments with the NTDP.
White is a prototypical two-way center, who scouts have lauded for his exceptional “hockey IQ” and two-way game, drawing comparisons to current Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron.
His play defensively shouldn’t overshadow his offensive talent, though. White has been a scorer at every level, scoring 44 points (16 goals, 28 assists) in his first year with Noble & Greenough School in 2011 — he was an eighth grader on the varsity team — as well as being one of the top scorers for the NTDP and now Boston College.
This past summer, he was selected No. 21 overall in the NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators and in October he began his freshman season at Boston College. He currently leads the Eagles with 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists) in 16 games, which is most among freshmen nationally and also seventh-most in all of the NCAA.
White has been asked to fill a major role on a BC team that has been led by younger players.
BC is still averaging 4.31 goals per game and is 13-2-1 at the holiday break, thanks in large part to White’s leadership and play in all three zones.
“It’s a big jump to college hockey,” he said. “The speed is a lot quicker. The guys are older so you need to adjust to that. After a few games it got a lot easier. Coach [Jerry] York made it very easy for me coming him. He did a lot to allow me to play the way I wanted to play. My linemate, Ryan Fitzgerald, he was also very helpful, as were a lot of the other older guys like [Steven] Santini and [Ian] McCoshen.”
Those older players were also helpful as White entered USA Hockey’s pre-tournament camp at Boston University earlier this month, letting him know what to expect both at the camp and once the games start for real in Helsinki. Making this team was a big goal for White.
“You’re always a little nervous about whether or not you’ll even be invited,” White admitted. “I just wanted to do whatever I could and hope you get the chance to get the invite. That was key for me. When we started our season [at BC], obviously I wanted to play well and help us win games, but I also wanted to make this team. It was important for me. It’s great to represent your country. I did everything I could to hope I got the call.
“It’s a little weird [being at BU],” he chuckled. “They have great facilities here, though.”
White has been skating with Sonny Milano and Christian Dvorak throughout the camp and pre-tournament games.
“We had some chemistry,” White said. “At first it was a little slow, but I thought it grew. If we can continue to do that, it should be exciting.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
|Date||Opponent||Location||Result||U.S. Player of the Game|
|Sat., Dec. 26||Canada||Helsinki Ice Hall||W, 4-2||Colin White|
|Mon., Dec. 28||Sweden||Helsinki Ice Hall||L, 0-1||Zach Werenski|
|Wed., Dec. 30||Switzerland||Helsinki Ice Hall||W, 10-1||Auston Matthews|
|Thu., Dec. 31||Denmark||Helsinki Ice Hall||W, 4-1||Brandon Carlo|
|Sat., Jan. 2||Czech Republic
|Helsinki Ice Hall||W, 7-0||Nick Schmaltz|
|Mon., Jan. 4||Russia
|Hartwall Arena||L, 1-2||Christian Dvorak|
|Tues. , Jan. 5||Sweden
Bronze Medal Game
|Hartwall Arena||W, 8-3||Anders Bjork|