Universities are leading spawning grounds for different sports talents in the USA and Canada. When it comes to hockey, a lot of teams fill their roster with foreign professionals from Europe and other continents. Calgary Flames manager Brad Treliving made a quite few changes in the team in the last few years combining the two sources of talent. In this article, we’re going to mention a few Flames that graduated from a college before signing their contracts with the Flames.
This list is not compiled in any particular order, so the first player on the list is not in any way considered better or worse than the last name we mention in the article.
What makes college a good hockey milestone?
Most Canadian and US universities invest heavily in their athletic programs, which attract international students that hope for a professional career. Many international students sought help with assignment writing by Canadian EduBirdie writers to make up the time for hockey practice. However, not everyone gets the chance to continue with professional hockey after enrolling a college. Also, professional athletes are at risk of injuries and other influences that might stop their careers, which makes college graduation an important safety measure.
College-level hockey competitions feature high-quality games and provide a chance for professional teams to notice a potential addition. Well-organized, with a huge public interest, college hockey was a starting point for generations of professional players.
This speedy forward was born in Plano, Texas where he grew up with family members engaged in different sports. Before starting his professional career, Coleman attended Miami University where he played hockey for Miami RedHawks. Coleman dedicated a lot of time to training during his college years. This made graduation a challenge, but he eventually snatched a college degree before going pro.
Before moving to Alberta, Blake Coleman played several seasons for the Devils and Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s safe to say that this Texan is showing his best games right now while he’s defending the colours of the Calgary Flames.
Born in September 1996, this 26-year-old Calgary Flames defenseman was signed as a free agent. HockeyDB listed Mackey as one of the Minnesota State alumni. Connor started his hokey career near his birthplace, playing for Barrington High School. Mackey served as a team captain in his final year after which he moved to defend the colors of Green Bay Gamblers This is where he stayed until his college career started in season 2017–18.
Connor Mackey is lefthanded, which is extremely common with NHL players. What’s not that common is a college career that ends up with graduation like Mackey’s is. Another interesting fact about this player is that after he remained undrafted, 28 out 31 clubs were interested in getting their hands on Connor Mackey in the season 2019–20.
This young defenceman from New York state played his first NHL game in the beginning of November 2022. Nick was signed by Calgary Flames as a free agent in the summer after a few years of wandering since his college graduation. Nick DeSimone attended the Union College in Schenectady, New York. He played three seasons for the Union College before taking his attempt at AHL.
This season, Nick is playing his first games in NHL. Before his AHL debut, Nick was thankful to his professors and the college coaching staff. He marked people and experience in the Union College as responsible for the chance to rise to the next level. It’s safe to assume that his gratefulness is unchanged after the opportunity given to him in the “big league.”
Calgary Flames forward, Kevin Rooney, is a nephew of former NHL winger Steve Rooney who played hockey during the late 1980s. Born and Raised in Canton, Massachusetts, Kevin was infatuated with different sports, mainly hockey. However, Rooney’s career started with a lot of bumps on the road. During his days at Providence College, Kevin played for the Friars, helping them win the NCAA Championship in 2015. He was also the team captain the next year, which is when he was noted and scooped by Albany Devils.
During his second year with Albany Devils, Rooney was called up to New Jersey, their parent hockey team. After years of moving from one Devils’ team to another, Kevin went on to play two seasons for the Rangers before signing with the Flames.
An impressive balancing act
These were just a few most notable members of the Calgary Flames roster that made it through college and established a successful pro career. Their road was not an easy one, balancing between academic and athletic obligations is a challenge. Still, snatching a college degree is important because it secures a player’s future in case the professional career goes south. We are certain that this would not be the case with the players we introduced in this article. However, life is full of surprises, and who can tell what the new day will bring?
Matthew Torain is a freelance content writer engaged with several publishers with a broad array of audiences. Matthew creates informative content that brings practical value to his readers. As a writer, he bases his work on authentic sources of actual information.