In an incredibly sad development, Dallas Stars draft pick and Colorado College forward Scott Winkler was found dead Wednesday evening.
Winkler, 23, was at his parents house in Asker, Norway, where he was found unresponsive last night. Colorado College athletic director Ken Ralph confirmed his death Thursday morning. The cause of death is unknown.
It was the second piece of sad news to hit the hockey prospect world Thursday. Edmonton Oilers prospect Kristians Pelss was reported missing in his native Latvia after reportedly jumping into a river.
Winkler was drafted by the Stars with the 89th overall pick in 2008 and stayed all four years at Colorado College, never joining one of the Stars professional teams. The team was going to have to make a tough decision on his future in the organization this summer. He had 13 goals and 28 points with the Tigers as a senior.
"The first thing you feel is shock and secondly you hope it isn’t true," Ralph said. "Scott had been working very hard and done a great job preparing himself for professional camps this summer."
"It’s unfathomable that something like this can happen to someone his age. He had such a bright future ahead of him. I’d like to ask all Colorado College fans and supporters of college hockey everywhere to keep the Winkler family in your thoughts and prayers."
Twitter user sk84fun_dc was the first to alert us to this sad bit of news.
Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill released this statement on Thursday afternoon:
"The Dallas Stars are heartbroken to hear about Scott's passing," said Nill. "Scott was a wonderful young man with great character and a bright future; we extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends."
Our condolences go out to Winkler's family as well as his hockey family at Colorado College.