Thursday, June 29, 2017

Five Bobcat players attending NHL Development Camps stock photo
Five Quinnipiac Bobcats hockey players are set to attend NHL development camps currently or in the coming weeks. The five players attending will be junior captain Chase Priskie (Washington Capitals), sophomore defenseman Karlis Cukste (San Joe Sharks), sophomore goaltender Andrew Shortridge (Nashville Predators), sophomore defenseman Brogan Rafferty (Chicago Blackhawks) and incoming freshman goaltender Keith Petruzzelli (Detroit Red Wings).

Priskie, the newly selected captain was drafted by the Capitals in the sixth round of the 2016 draft after a spectacular rookie campaign. He followed that up with a 26 point sophomore season (7 goals, 16 assists) while achieving All-ECAC Third Team honors. He will look to lead a talented Quinnipiac team back to the NCAA tournament after missing for the first time in five seasons. The Capitals camp runs from June 27 to July 1.

Cukste had a very solid rookie campaign on the defensive end with 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) while blocking a team leading 65 shots. A 5th round draft pick of the San Jose Sharks in 2015, Cukste continued to improve throughout the season and should be someone that could provide increased offensive ability this season. This past December he was part of the Latvian national team at the World Junior Championships in Canada. He will attend the Sharks camp from July 8 to July 12.

Shortridge was a big reason the Bobcats had a very good second half of the season in the 2016-17 campaign. He grabbed the goaltender reigns early in the second semester and never let go, showcasing his talent in college hockey and opening the door to possible future professional opportunities. Shortridge finished the season with a 13-7 record along with a 2.08 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. He was even stronger in league games going 7-2 with a 1.74 goals against average and a .934 save percentage. Shortridge won two postseason series against Brown and St. Lawrence before the team fell in the semifinals to eventual ECAC champion Harvard. He will attend the Nashville Predators camp from June 26 to June 30.

Rafferty had a very good offensive season for the Bobcats leading the team with 22 assists to go along with two goals. He became the first Quinnipiac freshman to lead the team in assists since Matthew Peca in 2010-11 season. He had NHL interest this past season so it is no surprise he is heading to an NHL development camp and will be looked upon to increase his production further. The Blackhawks camp runs from July 17 to July 21.

Petruzzelli recently drafted by the Detroit Red Wings with the 88th pick in the third round is the highest incoming freshman draft pick in Quinnipiac history. He comes to the program with a lot of hype and excitement after a tremendous rookie season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL. He posted a 22-10-0-1 record with a 2.40 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. His 22 wins were first among rookie goaltenders in the USHL. His play earned his All-USHL Rookie Team honors. He was the Most Valuable Player of the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game when he made 21 saves in a 27 minutes of action. He was also a member of the silver medal winning United States team at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. The Red Wings camp will be held from July 7 to July 11.

Jonathan Singer is a 2004 Quinnipiac alum. You can follow him on Twitter @QHockeyBlog.

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