Gophers to Avalanche: Ben Meyers reflects on whirlwind year
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
For many, summer is a time to step back and recharge. But for former Gopher hockey standout Ben Meyers, ‘22 BSB, the last few months have been a nonstop mix of classes, workouts, and training.
“It really was a crazy year,” reflects Meyers. “Everything happened so fast.”
The dizzying whirlwind for the 23-year-old includes representing Team USA in the Beijing Olympics, leading the Gophers to their first Frozen Four appearance since 2014, and signing with the Colorado Avalanche.
Now, Meyers can add Carlson School of Management alumnus to 2022’s long list of accomplishments.
“You dream about as a kid, to play in front of those large crowds for a prestigious university, like the University of Minnesota. So, to have the ability to do that and also go to school at the Carlson School was … everything I asked for,” says Meyers.
Wanting to build upon his leadership and people skills, Meyers found himself drawn to the Carlson School to pursue a degree in entrepreneurial management. He says his sales classes stood out to him the most.
“Sports in general, you get to work with a lot of different people and you develop good relationships,” shares Meyers, who was back on campus finishing his last courses. “And, that's an essential part of business, is forming relationships and working with people and the environment you're put in and the Carlson School is very competitive, but it's also very team-oriented.”
On the ice, this past season, Meyers helmed the Gophers as captain, leading the team with a career-high 17 goals and 41 points. The season's high points included recording his first hat trick in a 5-0 romp over rival Wisconsin and netting the overtime goal in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
“We obviously just had an incredible team on the ice this year and [I] made so many good friends on that team,” says Meyers. “We had a chance to get back to the Frozen Four and we did that and it was just special to be a part of such a good team.”
While Gophers lost in the Frozen Four to Minnesota State, just days later Meyers signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Colorado Avalanche, foregoing his final year of college eligibility. In his NHL debut, Meyers scored his first goal, but the major milestone remains a bit of a blur.
“I don't remember it too well, to be honest,” Meyers laughs. “It was a dream come true and hopefully I have a lot more to score, but it was very special to get the first one.”
Meyers closed out the season with five game appearances for the Avalanche. Since Meyers joined the squad following the NHL’s trade deadline, he was unable to play in their Stanley Cup-winning playoff run. However, Meyers has stayed busy with training and attending the Avalanche’s development camp this summer.
“[Playing professional hockey is] something I've dreamt about since I was like five years old,” says Meyers. “I'm just excited and hopefully I can have a long career … just looking to keep getting better.”
As his time as a Gopher and student-athlete at the Carlson School comes to an end, Meyers says it’s the relationships he’ll remember the most.
“The people I got to learn from…our coaches who were just unbelievable to me and my teammates and then obviously professors and [fellow] students [were outstanding],” Meyers reflects. “To be in that environment every day was just an incredible experience for me. I just feel like I grew so much in those three years that I think it's going to help me a lot my entire life.”