The Athletic’s Ryan S. Clark interviews Denver head coach David Carle, the highlights:

Photo: Courtesy of the Grand Forks Herald

The Athletic’s Ryan S. Clark published an in-depth Q&A with DU’s hockey head coach David Carle to discuss the past season and upcoming expectations. Coming off a 24-12-5 record and a trip to the Frozen Four, Carle discussed the ‘sting’ of not winning a national championship. And, of course, he emphasized the need to continue to grow and improve while competing in the toughest college hockey conference in the nation.

Here are three highlights from the interview:

  • On Ian Mitchell’s return: According to Carle, he and his staff have had open, ongoing conversations with all their drafted players, including Mitchell who is a Blackhawk draftee. Despite rumors to the contrary, Carle was confident Mitchell would return and discussed the need for the new captain to develop further so he can play for the Blackhawks ‘day one’.
  • Bobby Brink opens doors: Bobby Brink, a highly coveted incoming freshman and a 2nd round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers verbally committed during his official visit to DU. Bob Motzko and the University of Minnesota was also keen on Brink but DU plucked him out of their back yard. Carle believes that Brink’s commitment could open the door to more successful recruiting by DU in the state of Minnesota.
  • How DU trumps Juniors?: What college is DU’s biggest competitor for talent? Actually, it is the Canadian Western League (Juniors), not other college hockey programs according to DC. And the pitch? “It’s structured practice times. It’s structured time in the weight room. It’s you’re a part of something a lot bigger than yourself. It’s something you can call home for the next 20 to 40 years, really, the rest of your life. You get an opportunity to have a special relationship with some people. Your team at the start of the year is your team at the end of the year. You’re not getting traded or anything like that. So, there’s a lot of what we believe to be advantages on top of the fact that you do get to work on your degree. Worst-case scenario is you leave college with a degree and then the last piece, I’d say, is when you come to college you get to choose when you’re ready to leave…The pathways and options are limitless when you come this route to be able to develop at your rate and leave when you’re most ready to go play in the NHL.”

Carle also discussed the process of recruiting Auston Matthews the year before he was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs. He and then-head coach Jim Montgomery felt that if Matthews was going to choose NCAA hockey, he would come to Denver. Of course, he ended up going to Switzerland to play his draft year with the ZSC Lions of the Swiss National League.

You can read the entire article at The Athletic (Subscription Required).