Avalanche Defenseman Zach Redmond at IIHF Worlds


Colorado Avalanche defenseman Zach Redmond is set to make his international debut as he plays for Team USA in the IIHF World Championship. Team USA’s first game is May 1, at 8:15 am MDT, when they take on Team Finland.

Redmond was born in Houston, Texas, which isn’t exactly hockey central. However, his family moved to Michigan (don’t focus on the Detroit part) when he was three years old. Redmond told USA Hockey Magazine that being around hockey in Michigan helped motivate him to play the sport. He added that getting motivated wasn’t too difficult because, “I loved the game so much.”

Up north in Michigan parts, it gets and stays very cold. Many families actually freeze over their backyard by spraying it with water until it forms an ice skating surface. (I keep trying to figure out where the water goes when it melts, but that’s not the point.) Redmond’s most vivid hockey memories from his childhood are of playing on such makeshift rinks:

"“We would play as much as we could and well into the night a lot of times. “"

Pond hockey at its best.

For organized hockey, players in the United States get designated to teams according to age classifications. The names are fun — mini-mite, mite, squirt. Things start to get a little more serious at the bantam age, when players are in their early teens. Redmond remembers an incident from his bantam years that made an imprint on him:

"“I was cut from a select team my bantam year. Not making the team was a tough feeling.”"

However, rather than get him down, being cut from the team actually motivated him to commit even more fully to the game. Indeed, he cites that instance as being the time when he decided he wanted to be a professional hockey player.

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Redmond has overcome a lot to make his dreams come true. He told Mike Chambers of the Denver Post about suffering a transient ischemic attack at the age of 15. It was, essentially, a stroke. After the attack, Redmond had to relearn basic tasks such as walking. However, he returned to hockey as soon as possible.

Redmond went a slightly different route than a lot of pro players. Rather than go into major juniors, he went the college route. He spent four years with the Ferris State Bulldogs in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, earning his Bachelor’s degree. However, though earning his education was a factor for his decision, he still knew he wanted to play pro hockey.

Redmond signed with the Colorado Avalanche as a free agent last summer. He didn’t crack the roster right away, spending quite a few games as a healthy scratch (much to the ire of many Avalanche fans). However, after defenseman Erik Johnson had his season cut short after arthroscopic knee surgery, Redmond earned a regular spot as Jan Hejda‘s defensive partner. Redmond played a career-high 59 games and earned a career-high 20 points (five goals and 15 assists).

Redmond joins the Carolina Hurricanes’ Justin Faulk, Toronto Maple Leafs’ Jake Gardiner, Nashville Predators’ Seth Jones, Boston Bruins’ Torey Krug and the Arizona Coyotes’ Connor Murphy and John Moore as Team USA defensemen in Prague, Czech Republic for the IIHF Worlds.

Next: Duchene Heads to IIHF Worlds

Next: Barrie Excited for First International Games

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