JT Compher: Meet Captain Cool


Center JT Compher comes off as super-cool. Maybe it’s the way his face doesn’t show any expression. Could be because of the unusual combination of ginger-blond hair and brown eyes. He is going into his senior year at college, so that might have something to do with it. Might be because he says “cool” a lot. Whatever the explanation, Joseph Taylor Compher has a cool aura about him.

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Compher came to the Colorado Avalanche as part of the trade that sent center Ryan O’Reilly and winger Jamie McGinn to the Buffalo Sabres. It most certainly wasn’t the most-heralded part of the trade, not even on the side of Avs’ acquisitions.

After the first day of Colorado’s prospect development camp, JT Compher spoke about hearing the news that he was no Avalanche property. The news came from his adviser about half an hour before it came out on television. However, he then got a special call:

"“I got a call from Mr. Sakic and coach Roy right before it broke on TV. It was nice to hear from them. Overall they sounded really excited, and I was excited myself.”"

Compher, whom the Buffalo Sabres selected #35 overall in 2013, is currently playing for the University of Michigan. In fact, he was just named captain of the team after having served as assistant captain last year. He calls the captaincy a “big responsibility,” but adds that he’s excited by the challenge.

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Judging by the confidence in his demeanor, he definitely looks the equal to the task. (Side note — the Avalanche do enjoy bringing leaders into the organization.)

Compher has been enjoying his time with the other prospects at the camp. As with any situation, the young men probably held back to get each other’s mettle. JT Compher is familiar with some of the other prospects from having played against him. However, he states that the players from Europe and Quebec are unknown to him. He adds:

"“As the week goes on, guys start to loosen up. You get the real personality, and it’s more fun.”"

Compher is also aware that prospect development camp is just that — a camp for developing his hockey skills. When asked if he’s trying to impress the Avalanche with this week since he’ll be in the thick of the college hockey season come training camp, Compher said:

"“This is the first time they’ve seen me as Avs property. But you don’t want to change anything. You want to come out here and work hard. There’ll be people to come out and watch games throughout the year.”"

What they’ll see is a player who’s not huge — 5-foot-11, 193 pounds — but who has a high compete level. He’s a great skater who’s only been made better by his work with skating coach Tracy Tutton. He plays all 200 feet of the ice, which is probably why GM Joe Sakic said of him he “plays the right way.” Sakic added that JT Compher is a “tenacious player.”

So, Compher came to the development camp expecting to work hard and learn a lot. He found a warm welcome, too, stating, everyone from development staff to management knows a lot about the players. He added:

"“They seem to want to connect [to each player] both on and off the ice.”"

Well, today they did a little connecting off the ice as the prospects participated in The Amazing Race, Avalanche style. Here’s JT Compher leading Team Blue into Coors Field.

For something a little more serious, check out JT Compher’s serious — and cool — skills on ice:

And here’s one of the skating drills in which Compher participated — that’s Tracy Tutton in tow:

Next: Avalanche Prospects at Camp

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