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Get to Know J.T. Compher

Cole Hamilton Avatar
June 27, 2015


While Nikita Zadorov and Mikhail Grigorenko are certainly the biggest pieces headed to Colorado in return for Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn, make no mistake, J.T. Compher is a valuable piece of this Avalanche blockbuster trade.

J.T. Compher is a 5-foot-11, 184 pound forward who can play both center and wing. Don’t let his smaller stature fool you, however, he is a fierce competitor and a feisty grinder who makes life difficult for his opponents on every shift. At the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the Buffalo Sabres were high enough on Compher that they traded Andrej Sekera for a package which included the opportunity to move up and draft the Michigan Wolverines forward 35th overall.

Compher scored an impressive 50 points in 52 games for the US National U18 team in his draft year before moving on to the University of Michigan in the 2013-2014 season. As an NCAA rookie, Compher scored 11 goals and 31 points in 35 games for the Michigan Wolverines. Compher’s production dipped some in his sophomore year, scoring 12 goals and 24 points in 34 games, but he was named an alternate captain for the storied NCAA program. A high character, energy player, Compher is a leader on the Michigan squad and will serve as the Wolverines’ captain during the 2015-2016 campaign.

In Compher’s case, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Compher is a good shooter, a smart puck handler, and an high end skater, but none of those skills individually define his game. To put it bluntly Compher is a gamer. He thrives in the muck and grind of a game, and constantly battles to put himself in good positions offensively and defensively. Compher is a downright relentless player who uses sheer force of will to score more goals than you would otherwise expect from his raw skill set.

Compher isn’t an elite two-way player at the NCAA level, but when top prospect Dylan Larkin took on a larger role with the Wolverines, Compher still produced well in a reduced checking role. With an incessant motor and a desire to get under opponent’s skin, Compher is good enough on the defensive side of the puck that he could eventually play center at the NHL level. For those reasons, fan blog SB Nation College Hockey ranks Compher as the 14th best NHL prospect playing in the NCAA.

Compher will return to Michigan next fall as the Wolverines’ captain, but could go pro, joining either the Colorado Avalanche or the San Antonio Rampage in the following year.

Compher’s career statistics and highlights are below:


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