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Notable VJW alumni Colin Blackwell makes AHL debut

Former Valley Jr. Warrior standout Colin Blackwell never anticipated the magnitude of his hockey career. What started out as a simple love for the game, soon developed into major hockey opportunities.

After his father introduced him to the game as a child, the passion quickly unfolded. “I couldn’t even tell you the exact age that I put on my first pair of skates but I was definitely pretty young and then I quickly fell in love with the game.”

Blackwell’s youth hockey career consisted of playing for the Jr. Warriors from about squirts all the way up to his high school days.

After his Jr. Warrior days came to an end, Blackwell moved on to play at St. John’s Prep in 2007 where he set the school scoring record with 33 goals and 33 assists in 25 games, was named Robbie Ftorek Player of the Year by Massachusetts high school coaches and served as the team captain his junior year.

In 2011 Blackwell was drafted in the seventh round by the San Jose Sharks 194th overall. Shortly after, he began his NCAA career playing for Harvard University, skating with the top line by his sophomore year. His NCAA career was temporarily put on hold when he was sidelined for about two years when he suffered a season-ending injury. He returned to action in the 2014-15 season playing a key role in the ECAC tournament scoring two goals in his third game back against Brown University.

“It kind of happened all so quickly to be honest. I never really had these goals that I wanted to play at St. John’s Prep or Division I hockey. I always wanted to but I was kind of ignorant to the fact, I never really knew that I could, or that it was really an attainable goal so I was really just playing the game because I loved it so much and I had been playing it for so long,” Blackwell said.

Hard work, raw talent and an unprecedented love for the game can all be attributed to Blackwell’s hockey success. He shared, “Hockey can be your best friend and it can lead you in many different directions in life.”

After graduating in 2016, Blackwell now has one year of playing professionally for the San Jose Barracuda in the American Hockey League under his belt. The centerman played 57 games finishing the season with four goals and seven assists for a total of eleven points.

From Jr. Warrior days to St. John’s Prep, to Harvard to now the AHL, Blackwell has been consistent with his efforts in reaching the next level.

“I think my entire hockey career a lot of the teams I played on have kind of been the underdogs and I think that’s kind of been the story of my entire hockey career and kind of having that chip on your shoulder.”