Former Warrior Colin Blackwell Selected In 2011 NHL Entry Draft
It was a weekend that former VJW standout Colin Blackwell won’t soon forget.
The 5-foot-8, 164-pound forward from North Andover was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the seventh round of the NHL Entry Draft (194th overall).
Blackwell, who spent most of his developmental years playing for the Warriors, is coming off a sensational senior season at St. John’s Prep (Danvers) where he led the Eagles to the Super Eight tournament finals and was named the Catholic Conference’s Most Valuable Player. During his senior season, Blackwell set a St. John’s Prep single-season scoring record with 66 points in 25 games last season, earning the Robbie Ftorek Award as the Massachusetts High School Hockey Coaches Association’s player of the year. He was also +42 during the regular season. Before he suits up for San Jose, however, Blackwell will hone his skills under the watchful eye of Ted Donato,
head coach at Harvard University. Donato, a 98th pick in the 1987 NHL
Entry Draft, watched as four of his recruits - including Blackwell -
were drafted this year. Blackwell will be joined in Cambridge by fellow
draftees Stephen Michalek (161st), Petr Placek (176th) and Max Everson (203rd).
“We’re excited,” said Donato to the Boston Herald following the draft. “It’s a great group of kids. We think it’s the start of something special.”
While a Warrior, Blackwell was part of a ’93 Elite team that was one of
the first to compete on a national level and – much like Blackwell –
many of the players have recently committed to top Division 1 schools.
Included in that impressive list of VJW alumni are Chris Eiserman (UMass Lowell), Mike Vecchione (UNH) and Alex Gacek (Miami University - Ohio), to name just a few.
Over a four-year period from 2003 through 2006, the Warriors captured
four straight Massachusetts Hockey Select League Championships and
posted more than 100 straight wins in league play. He also led his VJW
teams to USA Hockey Nationals in 2006, 2008 and 2009.
“We could not be prouder of Colin,” said Fred Devereaux, the VJW
director of player development who has coached Blackwell for years as
part of the program’s weekly skills-development program. “This latest
accomplishment speaks to his not only his skill but his positive
attitude, dedication and commitment to becoming the best player he can.”