Avalanche Sign Five College Prospects

James CriderCorrespondent IApril 3, 2010

BOSTON - JANUARY 08:  Kevin Shattenkirk #3 of the Boston University Terriers takes the puck from Cam Atkinson #13 of the Boston College Eagles on January 8, 2010 during the Sun Life Frozen Fenway Hockey Game at the Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The Terriers defeated the Eagles 3-2.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche have announced the signings of college players Zach Cohen, Mike Carman, Mark Olver, Colby Cohen, and Kevin Shattenkirk. All five players will finish the season out playing for Colorado's AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters.

Zach Cohen , an undrafted forward, spent his last four seasons playing for Boston University. He's coming off his best season, in which he scored 15 goals and 25 points in 38 games. Having already joined the Monsters, Cohen has collected three points in six games.

Mike Carman , a center, was drafted 81st overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, and has spent the past four years playing for the University of Minnesota. Like Cohen, Carman has already joined the Monsters and collected one goal in six games. Carman re-joins former University of Minnesota teammate Ryan Stoa .

Mark Olver , also a center, was drafted by the Avalanche 140th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Unlike Carman and Cohen, Olver only spent three seasons in the NCAA, where he starred for Northern Michigan University. Olver is perhaps the most promising of the NCAA forwards in Colorado's prospect pool. The signing comes as a bit of a surprise given that it's unlikely Olver will be able to win a roster spot at training camp, but likely the decision was his to turn pro. Olver has played two games for the Monsters, collecting one goal.

Colby Cohen (no relation) is one of Colorado's highest touted prospects, taken 45th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. The 6'2", 200 lb defenseman spent the last three years playing for Boston University, and scored the overtime winning goal in BU Championship game against Miami of Ohio in 2009. Cohen is coming off of his best season, in which he scored 14 goals in 36 games, and will compete for a roster spot on the Avalanche this summer.

Kevin Shattenkirk is widely considered the Avalanche's best prospect, and is expected to play for the Avalanche starting next season. Shattenkirk was the captain of BU's 2009-2010 club, and is coming off of a strong offensive season, collecting seven goals and 22 assists in 38 games. Over the past three years he frequently played on a defensive pairing with childhood friend Colby Cohen , a pairing that will likely stick once both become NHL regulars.