Photo: Freshman defenseman Will Butcher (#7) made his mark with 16 points in his first year for the University of Denver. The Pioneers won the inaugural NCHC tournament with a win over Miami (courtesy of Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
In the last four drafts, the Colorado Avalanche only selected a combined six players from the USHL, a pipeline to the NCAA, and European junior leagues. To date, only four of those players still remain a part of the Avalanche organization.
Photo: Grand Rapids Griffins forward Teemu Pulkkinen, shown here skating for the parent Detroit Red Wings, is tied for the lead among AHL rookie goal scorers with 27 on the season (courtesy of Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
The AHL regular season is about to hit its final month with April just around the corner. The stage is set for a playoff-like atmosphere, with several teams in the Western Conference trying to make a late-season push to get into the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Photo: Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has just broken the record for the longest point-scoring streak by an 18-year-old that had been held for 34 years by Wayne Gretzky (courtesy of Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
With the Olympic break in February, most NHL teams played only a half dozen games or so during the month of February. But that was enough time for Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon to widen his lead in the Calder Trophy poll, being a unanimous selection as the leader in the monthly poll by the Hockey's Future staff.
Photo: University of Minnesota backstop Adam Wilcox, a Tampa Bay Lightning prospect, and the Gophers hold the top spot in the Big Ten going into the final weeks of the NCAA regular season (courtesy of Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)
Welcome to the February 2014 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various levels of competition who are either exceeding expectations or falling a little behind.
Photo: Colorado’s first overall pick in 2013, Nathan MacKinnon has scored 20 points with a plus-10 rating in 19 games since the start of 2014 (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)
The Colorado Avalanche entered the Olympic break with a 37-16-5 record, which places them third in the Central Division behind the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues.