Four Student-Athletes Submit National Letters of Intent to DU Hockey Program
Forwards Jaakko Heikkinen, Jake Durflinger, Ryan Barrow & Jack Doremus Set to Join the Pioneers as Freshmen in 2017-18
June 13, 2017
Head University of Denver men’s hockey coach Jim Montgomery has announced that forwards Jaakko Heikkinen, Jake Durflinger, Ryan Barrow and Jack Doremus have submitted National Letters of Intent to the program. They will join the Pioneers as freshman for the 2017-18 NCAA Hockey season.
“All four of these young men bring something unique and special to the table and we’re very pleased to be adding them to our program,” says Montgomery. “Furthermore, they all have the intangible qualities and high degree of character that Denver’s culture has become synonymous with in recent years. We’re confident that our freshman class on the whole will fit in very well with our returning group and our staff is excited to see what they can do at this level.”
“Jaako is a dynamic offensive player who we believe will add to the great tradition of European student-athletes excelling at Denver. Ryan is a prototypical power forward who will give us some good scoring depth and size up front. Jake plays a unique role that we haven’t had here in recent years and DU fans will really enjoy his aggressive, physical style of play. Jack will also add to our depth at the forward position and give us a talented faceoff specialist to make up for the loss of graduating seniors Matt Marcinew and Evan Ritt, both of whom finished in the Top 10 nationally in draws last season.”
Durflinger, 19, has been a member of the Bloomington Thunder (USHL) for the past two seasons after being traded from Sioux City in October of 2015. He was an alternate captain for the Musketeers and donned the ‘C’ for Bloomington. In 165 career USHL games, Durflinger recorded 80 points (32G-48A) and 378 penalty minutes. A native of Walnut Creek, California, Durflinger began his junior career in the NAHL with Corpus Christi, tallying 60GP-12G-17A-29P-74PIM in 2013-14.
“I’m very excited to begin my collegiate career at Denver,” says Durflinger. “The tradition of success DU has had, both on and off the ice, is second-to-none nationally and it’s been a dream school of mine since I made the decision to pursue NCAA Hockey. It was an easy decision for me to choose Denver and I’m proud to be a Pioneer.”
Heikkinen, 20, is a product of the Jokerit’s development program in Finland. He recorded 14G-33A-47P in 43 games played at the Jr. ‘A’ level (SM-liiga) in 2016-17 and 14G-24A-38P in 44 games in 2015-16, also in SM-liiga. In 26 career international games as a member of Team Finland, Heikkinen has tallied 1G-4A-5P.
“Denver is definitely the right place for me to develop into a better hockey player and person,” says Heikkinen. “The school and the program both have excellent reputations throughout the world and I’m looking forward to getting to campus to begin my collegiate career.”
Doremus, 20, is a product of the Colorado Thunderbirds’ T1EHL program (2013-15) and also spent two seasons with his hometown Aspen High Skiers (2011-13). The 6’1”, 174-lb. center has skated in the USHL for the last two years, tallying 112GP-22G-19A-41P-82PIM with Sioux Falls and Lincoln. His brother Danny played for DU from 2011-15 and is currently a member of the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL.
“I grew up watching the Pioneers and it’s a huge thrill for me to be joining the program,” says Doremus. “The coaching staff at DU is nothing short of excellent and my family and I have the utmost respect for everyone at Denver so it was a no-brainer for me to sign there when the opportunity arose.”
Barrow, 20, has spent the past two seasons with the Langley Rivermen of the BCHL, tallying 34G-47A-81P in 102 games. In 2016-17, the 6’2”, 170 lb. Albertan finished 10th in his league in scoring with 28G-40A-68P (51GP). He is a product of the Banff Hockey Academy, for whom he wore a letter while registering 34G-47A-81P in 53 games played at the CSSHL level from 2013-15.
“In addition to being one of the top programs in the country at present, Denver also has a rich history and hopefully I’ll be able to add to that tradition during my time as a Pioneer,” says Barrow. “Every hockey player, myself included, wants to play on a winning team and DU has proven year in, year out that the culture Coach Montgomery and his staff have established produces excellent results.”
Denver’s incoming freshman class now stands at eight members – Heikkinen, Durflinger, Barrow and Doremus as well as goaltender Dayton Rasmussen, defensemen Ian Mitchell & Griffin Mendel and forward Kohen Olischefski. Rasmussen (No. 6, North American Goalies) and Mitchell (No. 35, North American Skaters) both appeared on the National Hockey League Central Scouting Department’s Official Prospect Rankings in advance of the 2017 Entry Draft (June 23-24 in Chicago) and both recently took part in the NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo. Rasmussen’s junior team, the Chicago Steel, also won the Clark Cup as USHL Champions in May.
Season tickets for DU's 2017-18 campaign begin at just $286/seat and are currently available for purchase by clicking HERE. Half-season power packs (starting price: $154/seat) are also currently available for purchase. Fans can renew their 2016-17 seats by clicking HERE. More information on all Denver Athletics ticketing options can be obtained by calling 303-871-GOAL (4625).
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