Kevin Shattenkirk is a 19-year-old defender selected 14th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He is a rising sophomore with Boston University (NCAA), where he recorded four goals and 17 assists in 40 games last season, ranking second among team defensemen in scoring as a freshman.
Shattenkirk is one of the top prospects in Colorado’s system — a strong skater with great passing awareness. He lacks the stereotypical size of a defender, at 5’11 and 193 lbs, but he makes up for it with heart and great leadership skills.
Hockey’s Future caught up with the young blue liner during Colorado’s prospect development camp.
HF: What has the development camp experience been like for you?
KS: It’s been a great learning experience. Just seeing how they play at the NHL level, and seeing how they prepare. It’s been a great experience.
HF: What sort of things are the coaches emphasizing to the players?
KS: A lot of things they are emphasizing are definitely the penalties, pattern your game and switch your game to the new style of the NHL.
HF: What are your plans for training during the offseason?
KS: As of right now I am working with our school program at BU (Boston University) and our strength coach, Mike Boyle.
HF: You had a solid rookie season with Boston University. What aspect(s) of your game do you feel have improved the most over the last year?
KS: Definitely my defensive game. My defensive coach, Coach (David) Quinn, helped me tremendously working on my one-on-one play.
HF: Now that you’ve had time to reflect, what lesson did you take away from the Hockey East semifinal loss to Vermont last season?
KS: Any team can beat you. It doesn’t matter if you’re VU (Vermont University) or you’re Michigan. At any given time, any team with the right determination can beat you, especially during playoff time.
HF: Teamed with fellow Colorado draft pick Colby Cohen, do you two ever talk about what it might be like to share the blue line together in the NHL?
KS: Yeah we do here-and-there. It’s a fun thing to talk about. Obviously that’s both of our goals. So we’re working towards it.
HF: Do you plan to finish your degree, or do you think there’s a possibility of following in the footsteps of St. Louis Blues defender Erik Johnson by signing an NHL contract before you complete your studies?
KS: Right now I’m just concentrating on my offseason workouts and getting ready for my sophomore season at BU.
HF: Colorado is a team in transition with some of their veterans contemplating or nearing retirement. What do you think you can bring to this organization’s youth movement?
KS: They have a lot of young guys coming up through the ranks right now. You look at David Jones, T.J. Hensick. a lot of talent coming up and I just hope I can join those guys and bring another movement through the organization.
HF: What other sports did you play growing up and did you always know that hockey was your best sport?
KS: I played baseball, football a little, lacrosse. It was kind of a tie between baseball and hockey at one point. I kind of just focused more on hockey because I liked it more.
HF: And finally, this is the cliché question, but what player did you grow up idolizing and what current NHL player is closest to your style of play?
KS: Growing up, Brian Leetch. I loved his game. Now I would say someone like Dan Boyle.