Hockey players get a bad rap. They often are stereotyped as not the most intelligent guys on the planet, but my experience has shown that’s far from the case. Most people assume that these pros got into their dream colleges – even they even went that far – not because of their smarts but because of their athletic ability, and then dropped out of school immediately as soon as they get a chance in the NHL.
However, players who made the effort to finish their degrees are steadily increasing, which proves that more and more players are starting to make smart choices regarding their future. Within the ranks of the Colorado Avalanche’s past, you’ll find several players who made waves both in the classroom and on the ice. Here’s a list of the top five most educated Avs ever:
Many people would assume that pro hockey players were not the most diligent of students. Athlete stereotypes dictate that they skipped classes frequently and didn’t participate in any academic activities because they were off practicing most of the time.
However, a lot of them had the smarts and dedication to graduate from an Ivy League school. Would you believe that George Parros is a Princeton University graduate, with an Economics degree to boot? Parros, whose stint with the Colorado Avalanche back in October 2006 was short and sweet, is currently the Senior Vice President of the NHL’s Player Safety Department.
Ryan played collegiate hockey at Cornell University from 2003 to 2006. However, in his senior year, he decided to become a pro hockey player. He played for the Colorado Avalanche from 2010 to 2013. He retired from playing professional ice hockey in 2016 after playing for over 10 years.
Unlike other pros, Ryan decided to go back to Cornell to finish his degree in Hotel Administration. He decided to further his education and earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. In such cases, research paper service comes in handy when you have a lot of assignments to keep up with and need to find your own rhythm of academic life. Ryan is living proof that retiring from pro hockey is not the end, and players must always have a backup plan for when they retire.
Alexander Kerfoot is another player that valued education even though he was an outstanding hockey player. He already secured a spot in the 5th round of the 2012 NHL draft but chose to pursue his Harvard degree and play for the NCAA. Even with Harvard’s reputation of exacting academic excellence from its students, Alex successfully fulfilled the requirements for his course while winning awards as the co-captain of the Crimsons.
Shortly after graduating, he declined the offer of the team that originally drafted him back in 2012 and came out as a free agent before finally deciding to join the Colorado Avalanche in August 2017.
Another Ivy Leaguer who played for the Colorado Avalanche is David Jones. The team originally drafted Jones back in 2003; however, Jones was committed to playing collegiate ice hockey for Dartmouth College. He finally took up Avalanche’s offer after his junior year.
Jones spent one year with the Lake Erie Monsters before moving back into the Avalanche roster in 2007. He played the position of right wing and stayed with the team until 2013. Unlike Kerfoot, Jones was unable to finish his senior year at Dartmouth. However, balancing practice, training, and matches with turning in assignments, writing essays, and attending your classes is a feat that not many can pull off.
Only a few are aware of Steve Moore’s educational background, maybe because his glorious student days were overshadowed by the scandal that enveloped the last years of his professional career. Steve grew up in a household with strict parents who valued education. Steve and his brothers weren’t allowed to play hockey until they finished their assignments.
This rule eventually paid off: Steve Moore graduated from Harvard with a degree in environmental science and public policy and joined the ranks of educated hockey players. He played on and off for the Colorado Avalanche from 2001 to 2004, when he suffered a career-ending injury due to a violent attack while on the ice.
Excelling in academics is already a difficult feat for most people. Imagine if you had to balance the lessons, assignments, and lectures with practice, matches, and training. Imagine having to miss classes and getting behind on coursework because you have an injury, or you have to travel to another part of the country for a match.
Maybe this is why a lot of people shrug off the idea of educated hockey players and assume athletes get special treatment and pass off the work to other people instead of doing it themselves. However, it’s unfair to stereotype hockey players. As this list has proven, there are a lot of players out there who value education, and that there is more to life outside the ice.
Matt Duchene, Uwe Krupp, Shjon Podein, Carl Soderberg, David Aebischer, Ruslan Salei, Craig Wolanin, Chris Drury.