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Two Former Jr. Ducks Win NCAA Championship with Denver

By Chris Bayee, 04/18/24, 8:00AM PDT


University of Denver freshmen and former Jr. Ducks Sam Harris and Zeev Buium

Former Jr. Ducks Sam Harris, left, and Zeev Buium helped the University of Denver capture its record 10th NCAA hockey title on April 13. Photos courtesy of Shannon Valerio

Former Jr. Ducks Zeev Buium and Sam Harris helped the University of Denver win its record 10th NCAA hockey championship on April 13.

The freshman duo played key roles this season and in the tournament for the Pioneers. 

Buium, who led all Division I defensemen with 50 points, had key assists in both the title-game victory over Boston College and the regional final win against Cornell. He was selected as an American Hockey Coaches Association All-American, the NCHC's Rookie of the Year and the league's Offensive Defenseman of the Year. 

Harris scored the winning goal against Cornell off assists from Buium and his older brother Shai. That tally was one of 11 Harris had from late January on. He finished with 14 goals, tied for seventh on the top-scoring team in D-I, and emerged as a top-line winger when top forward Massimo Rizzo missed 14 games due to injury. 

Harris played youth hockey for the San Diego Jr. Gulls until joining the Jr. Ducks for his 14U AAA season. The 20-year-old was a fifth-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, one of 13 Jr. Ducks who have been an NHL draft pick.

Buium, who helped Team USA win gold at the 2024 World Junior Championship, played 12U AAA for the Jr. Ducks. The 18-year-old is ranked No. 4 among North American skaters for June's NHL Entry Draft by the league's central scouting service.