International Ice Hockey Federation

JT getting comfortable

JT getting comfortable

Compher learning like a pro

Published 15.05.2016 17:56 GMT+3 | Author John Sanful
JT getting comfortable
ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - MAY 12: USA's J.T. Compher #7 high fives the bench after scoring Team USA's third goal of the game during preliminary round action at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Forward JT Compher is one of five American players on the roster who played college hockey in the United States last season.

In recent years, American college hockey has produced a many NHL ready players who are competing and succeeding as professionals. Attending the University of Michigan, Compher had his best season in 2015-16. Playing on a line with Team USA teammates Kyle Connor and Tyler Motte, he scored 63 points and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given to college hockey’s best player. Originally drafted by the Sabres, Compher’s rights were traded to the Colorado Avalanche in the deal that sent Ryan O’Reilly to Buffalo. Just prior to the World Championships he signed with the Avalanche. IIHF.com caught up with Compher after USA’s win over France.

IIHF.com: Although your team prevailed, France was a tough competitor wouldn’t you say?

Compher: France played a good game. I think both teams played hard. We were playing well at the beginning but not getting enough pucks to the net. As the game went on we kind of wore them down a little bit and able to pop a few in. It was good to come away with the win.

IIHF.com: It must have been good to score your first goal here and contribute in that way.

Compher: It was a great pass by Matt Hendricks and Tyler Motte did the work in the corner. It was good for our line to get on the board and contribute in any way possible to a win.

IIHF.com: It must have felt like being back in college and playing with Tyler as you did on the University of Michigan. 

Compher: It did. Me, Tyler and Kyle (Connor) had a good year together and I played with them a bunch. It is nice to come to this tournament with a little familiarity from back home with guys who are competitive and you know what they are capable of doing. That chemistry has been good for us all season and helps us on and off the ice here. 

IIHF.com: What it is like to play on this team and at such a high level internationally here at the World Championship? 

Compher: It is huge honor to be here. It is great playing against and with pro guys, NHL players. They are really good hockey players in this tournament and I’ve been able to learn a lot in a week and a half that I’ve been here. I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable as the tournament moves on.

IIHF.com: Have you picked up anything being around those players who are in the NHL in how they prepare themselves or how they approach games? 

Compher: You learn more about being a professional. That is important for me going into my first year as a pro in the fall. I’m just trying to learn as much as I can about being a professional player. That means understanding the details involved in daily preparation for games and having the work ethic to be successful.

 

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