Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Cole Guttman has announced through his USHL team, the Dubuque Fighting Saints, that he has committed to the University of Denver for the 2018-19 NCAA Hockey season. Guttman originally committed to St. Cloud State in Minnesota in April of 2016. The Lightning made him a sixth round pick, 180th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Despite sounding like he is a middle aged superhero, Guttman is actually a small, skilled center coming in at 5’9” and 168 pounds. A native of the Los Angeles area, Guttman came up through the Los Angeles Jr. Kings program. At the end of the 2015-16 season, he spent some time with the U.S. National Team Development Program and 10 games with Dubuque. He moved to Dubuque full time in the 2016-17 season and served as an Alternate Captain while scoring 27 goals and 54 points in 53 games to grab the attention of scouts.
So far in the 2017-18 season, Guttman has four goals and eight points in 10 games and is the Fighting Saints’ Captain. With the University of Denver, he’ll have an opportunity to play a little big closer to home as well as for a very strong program that just won a National Championship.
At Denver, he’ll play under head coach Jim Montgomery. Montgomery was a profilic scorer in his time at the University of Maine in the early 90s putting up 301 points in 170 games. He was also a point per game scorer in the AHL and also played in 122 NHL games for the St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, and Dallas Stars.
Additionally on the Denver staff is assistant coach Tavis MacMillan. MacMillan was also an NCAA player for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks but only lasted two seasons as a professional. He began his coaching career back at UA-F as an assistant coach for six seasons and Head Coach for three more. Before joining the Denver staff in 2015-16, he spent eight seasons as an Amateur Scout for the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets franchise.
The last assist is David Carle, younger brother to former Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Carle. David was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at the 2008 NHL combine and was forced to retire. The Lightning made a symbolic gesture of drafting him 203rd overall in the 7th round. Carle served as a Student Assistant at Denver for his four seasons of school after retiring. He spent parts of two seasons with the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL as an assistant before returning to Denver in 2013-14.
With this staff, Guttman will have a great group of teachers to help him develop further as a prospect. He’ll have up to four years to play NCAA, but can turn pro earlier if he so chooses.