Glenwood’s Rio Kauffman selected to USA Hockey National Player Development Camp
Former Glenwood Grizzlies goaltender Rio Kauffman continues to move up in the world of amateur hockey.
In early May, Kauffman was selected for the 2018 Boys Select 16 National Player Development Camp with the United States program, that will be held July 7-13 in Amherst, New York.
Kauffman earned the honor by first making it through the Colorado (CAHA) state camp selection, and then the Rocky Mountain District Camp, which features players from Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Idaho, Arizona, Texas and Wyoming. With his selection, Kauffman is the only U16 goalie to be picked from the region, and one of just 12 total players from the U16 Rocky Mountain District.
Kauffman played for the Grizzlies from age 7-14, and was a rock in net during the 2015-16 season, leading the Grizzlies’ Bantam A team to a 13-1-3 record, going 11-1-3 overall on the year with a 1.29 goals against average and a .942 save percentage. Kauffman was his team’s No. 1 goalie for his final five seasons with the Grizzlies, as well as playing on CO AA (Mt Wilderness and RFV Knights) and AAA (CO Thunderbirds, CO Kodiaks) teams. He has helped his Glenwood Springs Youth Hockey Association’s team win six championships, including the league championship in 2016 and the state championship in 2015, in which he pitched a shutout in net in the championship game. For three seasons he had the highest save percentage for all goalies his age in the Continental Divide Youth Hockey League.
Following his time with the Grizzlies, Kauffman moved on to The Northwood School in Lake Placid, New York. While at The Northwood School, playing for their U16AAA team, Kauffman saw action in 30 games, going 23-4-1 with five shutouts, a .920 save percentage, while allowing just .87 goals per game. Kauffman helped The Northwood schools win their league championship in the EJEPL U16AAA, and went to the NY State U16AAA championship playoffs after winning the northern sectional in the state.
During the 2017-2018 season, Kauffman lived in Denver, playing for the Colorado Thunderbirds U16AAA team, where he appeared in 30 games, going 22-5 with three shutouts, posting a .904 save percentage and a 1.87 goals against average. The Thunderbirds won the 2018 CAHA Tier I state championship, and were runners-up in both the Tier Elite League U16 and the Rocky Mt District U16AAA finals.
The USA Hockey National Player Development Camps is for 15-, 16-, and 17-year-olds, and provides the United States’ top young players with age-appropriate on- and off-ice training and coaching from elite-level instructors, as well as the opportunity to compete against their peers from throughout the country. Players earn invitation to the national camps through their performance at a series of state- and district-level camps held each season. The camps are designed so players return home afterward with the tools to further develop their skills over the course of the coming season and beyond.
The USA Hockey National Player Development Camps also serve as an evaluation environment for players competing to represent the U.S. at international tournaments and events, including the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, the U17 Five Nations Tournament, and the U18 National Festival in Lake Placid, New York.
Since their launch in 1977, USA Hockey’s National Player Development Camps have been a springboard for countless future Olympians and professional players.
Kauffman most recently played for the North American Selects in Prague, Czech Republic, at the Jan Marek Memorial Tournament this spring. The North American Selects is an elite team made up of selected players from Canada and the United States, coached by Terry Christensen, and managed by Wayne Smith. Other countries represented in the tournament were the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Latvia, Russia and Slovakia.
Aside from his selection to the U.S. National Player Development camp, Kauffman was also invited to the Goalie Guild’s Rocky Mountain Mentorship Program next week, which is an elite goaltending mentorship program being held this year in Breckenridge. The Goalie Guild is nonprofit foundation dedicated to educating and supporting goalies in North America, founded by Justin Goldman, a former goalie scout and consultant with USA Hockey and past author for NHL.com. Goldman also authored four books on goaltending. Other coaches at the mentorship program are Jack Hartigan, FinnGoalie Training, Michael Garman, coaches from the United States Hockey League’s Chicago Steel, Wren Arbuthnot, the general manager for RMJHL Breckenridge Bolts and Maria Mountain. Other guest mentors include: Austin Shaw from Princeton (NCAA), Dax Deadrick from CSU (ACHA), and Jonathan Iilahti (SM-liiga and Mestis in Finland).
Next year, Kauffman will be returning to prep school in the Boston area, playing for Cushing Academy Varsity, coached by Stephen Jacobs, and will also play for the Eastern Massachusetts Senators AAA. Kauffman is a 4.0 honor student, and musician, and also enjoys playing golf and baseball.