BOSTON, Mass.—UMass Boston men's hockey's Colin Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) and Nick Albano (Beverly, Mass.) both showcased their skills last week at NHL Development Camps.
The reigning National Player of the Year and the USCHO.com National Rookie of the Year competed in organized practices against some of the top young players from Europe, junior hockey and NCAA Division I.
Larkin, who was a senior captain this past winter, was in Edmonton with the Edmonton Oilers. The center signed a professional contract with the Oilers in March, after leading the Beacons with 24 goals and 46 points in 27 games. He played in 16 games with the Bakersfield Condors (the organization's American Hockey League (AHL) team) and recorded two assists.
"This was just a prep for him," Beacons head coach Peter Belisle said. "He's going to be in the big camp and have a chance to skate with Connor McDavid and some of the best players in the entire world. He's already had a chance to play professionally and came back to campus after playing in the AHL with even more motivation. I can't wait to see him progress this upcoming year with the Oilers."
Albano was much closer to home, as the North Shore product skated for his hometown Boston Bruins in Brighton. The offensive defenseman became the first freshman in program history to earn All-American honors, after finishing third amongst all Division III blue liners with his 35 points and 1.30 points per game.
"He looked really, really good," Belisle said. "I had a chance to go to one of the practices and Nick was really assertive and extremely competitive. He was jumping into line first in drills and was very energetic. I'm super proud of him. He's reenergized for the fall and raring to get back. It was surreal to be at the Bruins complex and to have Nick wearing the Spoked-B and see how close our program had made it to the NHL."
He was one of just 11 invitees to earn a spot at Bruins Camp and the only player from the Division III ranks.
"It's humbling to see two of our guys earn this chance," Belisle said. "We've had guys who we were close-Rob Florentino and Stephen Buco come to mind, but this is just so incredible.
This is something that we can build upon. Our level is getting better and people are noticing. It's something that we're going to keep striving for, and we're going use it to motivate the guys in our locker room."