JT Compher
Image: Chapin Landvogt/HF

JT Compher

Hometown:

Northbrook Illinois

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1995-04-08

Position:

C

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2013

Height:

5-10

Acquired:

Trade with Buffalo, June 2015

Weight:

184 lbs.

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History

2010-11: JT Compher played for Team Illinois U16 and skated for the Glenbrook North High School team. In 34 games for Team Illinois he scored 17 goals with 22 assists and had 56 penalty minutes. Compher committed to playing college hockey at the University of Michigan in 2013-14.

2011-12: Compher joined the USA National Team Development Program (NTDP) in Ann Arbor Michigan, skating with the U17 team during the season and in three international events and playing for the USA in the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship. Compher scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was plus-seven in six games as the USA captured the gold medal at the WJC. In 18 regular season games with the NDTP U18 team Compher scored 8 goals with 5 assists. The NTDP U17 team had a successful season, winning the 2012 U18 Vlad Dzurilla Tournament, finishing second in the 2012 U17 World Hockey Challenge and capturing the Four Nations Tournament in Russia in November. Compher was the team’s second leading scorer – tallying 15 goals with a team-high 27 assists in 40 games.

2012-13: Compher skated with the USA NTDP U18 squad and represented the USA in the 2013 World Junior Championship tournament. Compher was the U18 team’s second-leading scorer, finishing with 18 goals and 31 assists in 55 games and was plus-12 with 53 penalty minutes. Compher was the second leading scorer for the silver medal-winning USA squad at the U 18 WJC, trailing only Tyler Motte, scoring 3 goals with 4 assists and finishing plus-two with 8 penalty minutes in seven games. In a thrilling gold medal game, the USA fell to Canada, 3-2. Compher was ranked 34th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Buffalo in the second round (35th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.

2013-14: Compher skated in 35 games for the University of Michigan as a freshman and was named the Big Ten rookie of the year. He scored 11 goals with 20 assists and was +13 with 22 penalty minutes for the Wolverines. Michigan finished third in the Big Ten in the conference’s inaugural season but was upset by Penn State in the conference tournament and did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

2014-15: Compher, overshadowed by the emergence of sophomore Alex Kile and freshman Dylan Larkin (Detroit), played more of a lower line role in his sophomore season at Michigan. He skated for the USA at the 2015 World Junior Championship. After scoring just four goals in his first 26 games, Compher scored seven goals in one four-game stretch — including hat tricks against Wisconsin and Penn State. For the season he scored 12 goals with 12 assists and was -3 with 40 penalty minutes in 34 games. Michigan finished third in the Big Ten and advanced to the conference tournament championship game but did not receive an NCAA Tournament bid after falling to first-place Minnesota, 3-2. Compher did not register a point in four games at the World Juniors as the USA finished fifth, losing to Russia, 3-2, in the quarterfinal round. Colorado acquired the rights to Compher in a multi-player trade with the Sabres in June 2015. 

Talent Analysis

Compher is an undersized energy player who is a fierce competitor. He possesses above average skill in all facets of the game though his greatest strength is his skating ability. He plays well away from the puck, using his speed to backcheck and forecheck and finishes his checks consistently. He is not an offensively gifted player but can score goals on a regular basis.

Future

Compher has been one of the top playmakers for the University of Michigan as a junior in 2015-16. Skating on a line with breakout freshman Kyle Connor (Winnipeg) and junior Tyler Motte (Chicago) he is the Wolverines' leader in assists. The Avalanche are very high on Compher and he was a key piece of the trade that sent Ryan O’Reilly to Buffalo. Compher’s two-way play and ferocious compete level are two traits the team needs more of throughout their entire lineup. He could push for a roster spot as soon as next season if he does not return to Michigan for his senior year.

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