White Will Play for BC After His Time with the NTDP.
Photo by Tom Sorensen.
Growing up, Colin White looked forward to attending Boston College hockey games. He couldn’t wait to watch players like Nathan Gerbe or Brooks Orpik take the ice for his hometown Eagles, and he loved getting autographs and high fives from the players.
“Being from Boston, I always grew up watching them,” said White, who grew up in Hanover, Massachusetts. “My family has always liked BC. Since I was 5 years old, we would go to BC games. I was always down there, trying to get autographs or handshakes.
“Now, I will finally get the chance to wear the same jersey.”
White, a forward on the U.S. National Under-18 Team, will be joined at BC with two of his current teammates, Jeremy Bracco and Casey Fitzgerald. The BC roster also features numerous NTDP alums, including Thatcher Demko, Noah Hanifin, Steve Santini, Scott Savage, Brendan Silk, and Alex Tuch.
“I was out there a few weeks ago on my visit and it was great to see them,” White said. “Knowing the guys on the team, it will definitely help in the transition.”
Plus, White has a support system from his parents, who are both former college athletes. His mother Christine played tennis at Florida State University. His father Mark played football and competed in track and field at Georgia Tech University and is in the Georgia Hall of Fame for both sports.
“It’s huge to have them around,” White said. “I talk to my dad every day — he is always looking for ways to help me improve my game. He has always helped me train when I was growing up.
“My mom lives with me out here now. She is around to help me out, and my dad will come out here a lot. I’m very thankful for that and it’s special.”
The journey to BC runs through Ann Arbor and the NTDP. For White, it has been an up and down two years, but he wouldn’t trade it for anything.
After recording 33 goals and 64 points in 47 games last year as a member of the U17 Team, White has 16 goals and 41 points this season with the U18s. It’s been a struggle for White at times this season, as he missed some time due to illness.
“This year I have been trying to maintain my health,” he said. “I was sick a lot, so I want to stay healthy the rest of the year. It’s definitely helping.”
The 6-foot, 183-pounder is known as a two-way center. More than anything, he is most proud of how his defensive game has grown since arriving in Ann Arbor.
“I like to play big and strong in the defensive zone, so I feel that helps create more offense for my line,” he said. “I believe it’s the right way to play. I’m a lot stronger in the defensive zone this year. It’s where I see the most improvement.”
White credits the coaching staff — coach Don Granato, assistant coach Nick Fohr, and intern coach J.D. Forrest — and video work for his improvement.
“The coaching staff has really helped,” he said. “They are always teaching us stuff, and we are always watching the video. It’s great to have that around.
“It’s being able to pick up little things guys do out on the ice, especially the NHL. Seeing that really helps me. I’m more of a visual learner, so it really helps me to see things. I like to watch [the Boston Bruins’ Patrice] Bergeron. He does all the little things well on the ice.”
As White and his teammates prepare for their final event, the 2015 IIHF Under-18 World Championship in Switzerland, he still can’t believe that he has had the honor to wear the colors of his country.
“It’s just indescribable what it means to wear the jersey,” White said. “To see it hanging in your stall — words just can’t describe it. It’s an honor. This could be one of the last times I can represent my country.
“It’s going against different countries. It’s always something special when you have on that jersey. For instance, going against Russia, it’s a battle out there. They are going to give you the best, and you are going to give your best in order to win.”
White and his U18 teammates have had quite a bit of success in international play so far. He knows it will take a full team effort in order to bring home a gold medal in Switzerland.
“We need to bare down and get focused,” he said. “We need to get rid of the outside distractions and come together as a team. I’m pretty excited; I know the coaching staff and the guys will be ready to go.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.