Noah Laba named assistant captain, and Rangers prospects meet in USHL playoffs

Noah Laba
CC Hockey vs Long Island University, Robson Arena, Oct. 20, 2023 (Colorado College / credit: Casey B. Gibson)

On Thursday afternoon, Colorado College Tigers Men’s Ice Hockey announced that Stanley Cooley has been named team captain for the 2024-2025 season, while New York Rangers prospect Noah Laba (2022, 4th round), along with Ethan Straky will serve as assistant captains, according to head coach Kris Mayotte.

“We are excited for our leadership group heading into next season,” coach Kris Mayotte said. “Congratulations to Stanley, Noah, and Ethan on the well-deserved honor. We are fortunate to have a phenomenal locker room, filled with leaders.”

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Noah Laba, Colorado College
Noah Laba in action (Colorado College / credit: Casey B. Gibson)

Laba, a forward from Northville, Michigan earned second-team All-American and first-team All-NCHC honors as a sophomore this past season. He led the Tigers in scoring with 37 points (20 goals, 17 assists) on his way to being named the NCHC Defensive Forward of the Year. His seven game-winning goals led the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and were the most by a Tiger since Brett Sterling had eight in 2005-2006.

“Noah and Ethan have grown tremendously in two seasons here at CC,” Mayotte said. “Their growth as players and leaders has allowed us to take big steps forward.”

With key players set to return, and a very solid freshmen class incoming, Laba elected to return for his junior year despite being courted to sign a professional contract with the New York Rangers. Colorado College narrowly missed out on an at-large invitation to the NCAA tournament by four ten-thousandths of a percentage point in the Ratings Percentage Index. The team finished with a record of 21-13-3 to finish fourth in conference standings and were ranked No. 15 in the final United States College Hockey Online Division I Men’s Poll as well as being No. 15 in the USA Hockey/The Rink Live College Hockey Poll.

Colorado College opens the 2024-2025 season with an exhibition game against Briercrest College (Canada) on Saturday, October 5th. The regular season begins for the Tigers with a weekend series against the Northern Michigan Wildcats on October 11th and 12th at Ed Robson Arena.

As for Northern Michigan, the team formally announced the commitment of Rasmus Larson, a 2023 draft pick (5th round) of the New York Rangers. The incoming freshman will be a part of the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation according to Neutral Zone. Larsson is a 6’3” left-shot defenseman from Hasselby, Sweden who currently plays for the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League.

The blueliner had four goals and 13 assists for 17 points during the regular season along with a solid +7 rating. Amongst defenseman, Larsson was second in assists and points while third in goals. He had the fewest penalty minutes (8) among skaters to have appeared in 20 or more games.
Green Bay is currently tied in their USHL Clark Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals series 2-2 with the Muskegon Lumberjacks, who feature another Rangers prospect in forward Ty Henricks (2023, 6th round). In 60 games played with the Lumberjacks this season, Henricks recorded 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 points with a +5 rating and 22 penalty minutes. He will be attending Western Michigan University in the fall.

After winning game one by a score of 4-3, the Gamblers dropped the second game by a score of 4-1, and then were shutout 2-0 in game three before evening the series at two games a piece with a 2-1 victory in game four Wednesday night. The deciding game five is scheduled to be played on Friday, April 26th at 7:10 PM EST.

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