Former Catamounts in the NHL

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Former Catamounts in the NHL

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While many Catamounts have taken the ice in a blur of green and gold, several players now wear different colors for professional teams around the country.

Among the men’s hockey alumni, six players are currently in the NHL, according to UVM Athletics:

Kevan Miller ’11 – Boston Bruins

Viktor Stalberg ’09 – Nashville Predators

Torrey Mitchell ’07 – Buffalo Sabres

Patrick Sharp ’02 – Chicago Blackhawks

Martin St. Louis ’97 – New York Rangers

Tim Thomas ’97 – Free Agent

“It’s crazy to think just a few years ago students were in the Gut to see guys like Tim Thomas or Marty St. Louis,” junior Gabryella Procaccini said.  “For all I know, some of my friends playing now could reach the NHL.”

One Catamount who reached the NHL recently is Miller, who now wears black and gold for the Boston Bruins.

Miller attended UVM from 2007 to 2011 and served as the team’s captain during his junior and senior years, according to UVM athletics.

“Being recruited by teams out of high school, I had some decision making to do,” Miller said.  “The great hockey program and the possibility of getting a good education sold me for UVM.”

According to UVM Athletics, Miller played in 144 career games for the Catamounts, recording five goals and 25 assists.

“Kevan was really an impact player for us from day one,” head coach Kevin Sneddon said.  “He was a great captain for us and I think UVM gave him the opportunity to develop into a solid NHL defenseman.”

Another player that went on to the NHL after his time at UVM was Viktor Stalberg.

“Coming into UVM, Vik had great speed but needed strength,” Sneddon said.  “By his junior year he added some muscle, was one of the best forwards in college hockey and was NHL ready.”

The assistant director of athletic communications, Alastair Ingram, has been around the UVM hockey scene since 2010.

He said he has seen many UVM hockey players develop through the years.

“Competing in the best conference in the country [Hockey East] really prepares our players for the next level of professional hockey,” Ingram said.  “UVM hockey is treated as a brotherhood, and our athletes have access to a diverse alumni network upon graduation or after their hockey careers.”

Miller recently began his professional career by signing a contract with the Boston Bruins in 2011.

Miller also cited competing in Hockey East as a contributing factor on his path to the professionals.

“My role as a player was established during my time at UVM because of the talent that I played against,” Miller said.  “It was very important to me that every time I put that jersey on I gave my best effort.”

The 2013-14 season was Miller’s first full year with the Bruins.

Miller finished the season playing in 47 games and achieved a +20 rating, which means the Bruins scored 20 more goals than their opponents while Miller was on the ice, according to NHL.com.

Miller said that Sneddon is a big reason why he has had such success as a player.

“Hockey is also a lot about character and that’s something Coach Sneddon really prides himself on,” Miller said.

Despite playing in the NHL for an original-six team, Miller remembers his roots.

“I do my best to keep up with how the Cats are doing throughout the year,” Miller said.  “I keep in touch with many current and former players and coaches.”

“UVM is a great environment and I loved playing there,” Miller said.

When asked how he felt about his former players in the NHL, Sneddon said, “It’s fun to watch our Vermont alums play and succeed in the NHL.  It is a definite feeling of pride when I watch them.”