Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Carman and Stoa featured in story

University of Minnesota forwards Mike Carman and Ryan Stoa were discussed in an article written by John McGourty of The article looks at the Colorado Avalanche and some of their top prospects.

Carman, who was a third round pick by the Avs in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, had a solid freshman season at Minnesota. He often centered Minnesota's third line and finished the year with nine goals and 11 assists.

Unfortunately for Carman and the Gophers, he will sit out the first half of the upcoming season due to academic reasons.

Later this summer, he'll participate in the 2007 USA Junior Evaluation Camp which is used to help decide what players will represent Team USA in the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be held Dec. 26, 2007-Jan. 5, 2008, in Pardubice and Liberec, Czech Republic. Carman played on the 2007 version of this team, and it would be surprising if he didn't make the team again this year.

Depending upon how Team USA does, and assuming Carman gets his academic issues addressed, he'll likely return to the ice for Minnesota in time for the Gophers series with St. Cloud State on Jan. 11-12.

Stoa, who played on that bronze medal-winning team with Carman and was second round pick by Colorado in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, had a somewhat disappointing season last year for the Gophers. He typically played left wing on Minnesota's top line that was often centered by Kyle Okposo. Stoa finished the year with 12 goals and 12 assists, which comes on the heels of his 25-point freshman season.

This season, Stoa will again be put in a position to succeed, and it would be surprising if his offensive numbers didn't increase across the board during his junior year.

The article also touches on former Wisconsin defenseman Nigel Williams, who left Wisconsin midway through his freshman year last season to play in the OHL.