Gophers Ben Meyers Signs An NHL Contract With The Colorado Avalanche

April 13th, 2022: The native of Delano, Minnesota, with 39 goals and 95 points in 102 games for the Gophers has signed an NHL contract with the Colorado Avalanche.

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Ben Meyers the Gophers Co-Captain has signed an NHL contract with the Colorado Avalanche.

Meyers at the age of 23, has six goals and nine assists for 15 points since coming back from the Olympics. During his time in Bejing, Meyers finish second among U.S. scorers with four points in four games.

As the Gophers co-captain Meyers led the Gophers to a Big Ten regular-season championship and most importantly a frozen four appearance. Which is the Gophers’ first since 2014 and their 22nd time in their history. The two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection led the Gophers with 17 goals and 41 points in 34 games. Meyers is also the first Gopher to post 40 or more points in a season since, former Wild Rem Pitlick, and Tyler Sheehy who both did it in 2018-2019.

“I think the beauty of Meyers’ game is that he already has a pro frame and plays a pro style, which should help ease the transition,” NHL prospect reporter for the Athletic Scott Wheeler told Gopherhole. “He’s heavy on pucks, he attacks the inside, he works to get it back and finish his checks when he doesn’t have it, and he’s got the skill to make plays as both a shooter and passer when he does. There’s really not a lot to nitpick.”

The native of Delano, Minnesota, recorded 114 and 131 assists for 245 points in 100 career high school games with Delano. Meyers also recorded 58 goals and 52 assists for 110 points in 124 games with the Fargo Force of the USHL before coming to the University of Minnesota.

As a captain his senior year of High school, Meyers recorded 46 goals and 53 assists for 99 points in 25 games. Meyers also recorded six goals and 15 assists for 21 points in his senior year playoff run with Delano. His combined senior year total was an astonishing 52 goals, 68 assists, and 120 points in 31 games, good for a 3.87 points per game average.

“It has been a joy to watch Ben’s development during junior and college hockey, his game is so mature now with an impressive blend of skill, creativity and compete,” Meyers’ former Delano high school coach Gerrit van Bergen told Gopherhole. “Meyers was able to do things that seemed impossible, sometimes even silly because of his skills and high hockey IQ. It allowed him to play so many steps ahead and even if he lost the puck he would just get it right back.”

Van Bergen added: “I learned a lot from him and our program is so proud of him and his teammates for what they accomplished in high school, junior, college, and even pro hockey now for Brian Halonen.”

Bryon Bader, creator of hockey prospecting added: “Meyers high school draft minus one year and draft year production was off the charts. I’m surprised he was never drafted.”

The Big Ten Player of the year ranks first on the team in xG, shots attempted, faceoff percentage, power-play shots, passes to the slot, faceoffs won in the offensive zone, accurate passes, dekes successful, goals, and points on the Gophers. Meyers also ranks third on the team in successful zone entries, scoring chances, and penalties drawn. All via InStat.

“Meyers has been the epitome of Minnesota’s physical and methodical style this season. He’s found ways to add a layer of grit to his great playmaking and speed,” head of North American scouting for Recruit Scouting Gabe Foley said. “His versatility is exactly what NHL teams want out of their prospects. His visionary, heads-up passing is tremendous and carries the weight of a gritty playmaking style that should cement Meyers nicely into an NHL lineup come the time.”

Meyers is also the second Gopher Hockey player to be named a Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalist since former Minnesota Wild alum Jordan Leopold, who was a finalist in 2002. Leopold went on to win the Hobey before leading the Gophers to a national championship.

Not only can Meyers bring elite-level offense but he can also bring top-end defense. Meyers ranked first on the Gophers in blocked shots with 52 and first on the team in defensive zone faceoff wins. Meyers and the Gophers shut down some of the nation’s top talent in the Worcester Regional. Ethen Frank led the nation in scoring but failed to even record a shot in the game between the Western Michigan Broncos and the Gophers. Frank was coming off a seven-shot performance against Northeastern and had 15 shots in the three previous games.

What this means for Gopher hockey

It’s obviously a tough loss for the Gophers but Ben is more than ready to make the jump. The Gophers currently have Logan Cooley, Cruz Lucius, Jimmy Snuggerud, Brody Lamb, and Charlie Strobel coming in as freshman forwards. Cooley is currently projected as a top-five NHL draft pick in the upcoming draft.

Meyers’ leadership on and off the ice will be missed the most. Meyers is the definition of a true captain, he leads by example during games, practices, workouts, and off the ice with his teammates. He is a workhorse and a competitor who cares about the game like nobody else.

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