LOVELAND, Colo. — Where would you be when you found out you got drafted into the NHL by your hometown team?
In 2016, Boulder native Nate Clurman was with his family in the mountains. They were eating breakfast at their favorite spot: The Northside Kitchen in Avon.
Clurman’s phone rang. Boom. He was just drafted in the 6th round by the team he grew up rooting for: The Colorado Avalanche.
"I mean, growing up in Colorado that was the dream," Clurman said. "From the start. When I was younger all I wanted to do was play for Avs alongside Joe Sakic."
Clurman, like a lot of the top hockey talent in Colorado, only played one year on the ice in the state (at Dawson School) then moved on to boarding school at Culver in Indiana.
"When everyone heard they were just so excited for me and saw the work that had paid off not only for me but for my parents," Clurman said. "All the effort and work and commitment they’ve shown to get me here. So it was a great moment."
Clurman made his mark at Notre Dame, where he finished his collegiate career with 19 points (4g/15a) and a +10 rating in 103 NCAA games. He joins JD Corbin as the only two Colorado born players to ever get drafted by the Avalanche.
Mom and dad, of course, are very proud.
"Older people would always ask him the question like, 'is it your dream to someday play in the NHL?' and when he was about eight years old he said, 'no it’s my plan.' He was pretty committed from a young age," said Clurman’s father, Andrew.
"He’s got a high EQ level and has just always been emotionally very strong and seems to weather the ebbs and flows of life and this sport in particular pretty well so we’ve been super proud of that," said Claire Clurman, Nate’s mother.
I had to ask: is it almost weird to play for the franchise you loved so much as a kid?
"You turn from a big fan to … more of a student. It’s been really nice to play some games so the process has been very quick but I’ve enjoyed every second of it."
The Eagles defender hopes to one day see his childhood plan come to life.
"The main thing is to play in the NHL and get there and to stay there so I think this is a great opportunity for me in the last couple of months to get games with the Eagles and then work my hardest this summer to try to do my best to make the Avs next year or whenever that may come. I just want to maximize my potential as a person and as a player and go from there."
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