Chipman commits to CCHL
Colton Chipman is on the move again.
The 18-year-old Niagara Falls native has committed to the Navan Grads of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) after spending last season with the El Paso Rhinos of the North American Hockey League.
Chipman feels the Grads are a perfect fit, on and off the ice.
“I talked to them and several other teams but after talking to my family and (Ridley coach Mike) McCourt and some other people, Navan really stood out. It’s a good team and a good facility and next year they’re looking to be a top team so it’s somewhere I can play and develop,” Chipman said.
The 6-foot-1, 181 pound forward also reached out to some members of the Grads as he did his due diligence.
“The team culture and what coach (Marty) Abrams is building seems like it’s a really good, hard working and disciplined team. It’s something I value and am excited to join and contribute to.”
Abrams is looking forward to having Chipman on board.
“Colton is a player we have talked to the past few seasons and we are excited to have him and his family join our program,” Abrams said. “Coach McCourt and his staff have done a remarkable job preparing him both on and off the ice for both junior and college hockey. In addition to bringing a complete 200-foot game to the table, Colton is an excellent student (97 per cent average), is a great teammate with tremendous character.”
Chipman played the 2018/19 season for the Southern Tier Admirals before joining Ridley College where he collected seven goals and 13 points in 28 games. He made the move to El Paso last season due to the COVID pandemic while continuing his studies at Ridley remotely.
“I’m glad I went (to El Paso) and I would do it again,” he said. “I learned a lot and I feel like I put together a lot of pieces of my game and became a better player.
“I think skating at Ridley for two years and going there to get some competition, it’s really going to help me out. Obviously, from a physical standpoint playing against older kids and from a hockey IQ standpoint and just polishing my 200-foot game, I feel it’s really going to help me get off the start.”
Chipman, who had a solid rookie campaign for the Rhinos with eight goals and 13 points in 24 games, returned to Canada in April and was hoping to participate in graduation ceremonies at Ridley.
“A week before I left Ontario shut down, no graduation, nothing,” Chipman said.
That disappointment notwithstanding, Chipman loved his experience at Ridley.
“Words can’t really describe how much Ridley does for their players in all sports from every standpoint,” Chipman said. “Jay Barron (goaltending coach) said Ridley is one of the best kept secrets in Ontario and I’m going to stand by that because you go there and come out a better person, player, student — everything.”
McCourt is excited to see Chipman perform at the next level.
“I am extremely proud and excited for him,” McCourt said. “He worked extremely hard on the ice to grow and develop his game and made some significant strides. He is a competitive young man who has a passion for the game and off the ice excelled in the classroom and thrived in this environment.
“I could not be happier for him and this next step.”
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