Defenseman Cooper Zech won a championship with the Wild in 2017-18, and has shown no signs of slowing down as his career marches forward.
Prior to his arrival in Wenatchee, Zech (from South Lyon, MI) followed his older brother Zach to Odessa, TX to play in the NAHL, making the team as a 17-year old. He played two seasons in Odessa, and had a 25-game stint with Muskegon in the USHL. It was his time in Wenatchee that really lifted his game. In addition to Fred Page Cup and Doyle Cup Championships, Zech earned the BCHL’s Best Defenseman Award, leading all BCHL blueliners with 69 points in the regular season and 23 in the postseason. Both marks stand as franchise records for Wild defensemen. Additionally he was awarded Top Defenseman and Co-MVP for the Wild.
Fresh off a championship season, Zech attended the Washington Capitals development camp and had a good showing but left without a contract. He went on to Ferris State University, located two and a half hours away from home and played the 2018-19 season there where he earned WCHA Rookie of the Year honors, leading all WCHA defensemen in points.
His college performance caught the attention of the Boston Bruins who offered him a two-year contract with their AHL club in Providence. He had the opportunity to wear the spoked B of the parent club in preseason action but remains in Providence as he continues to develop his game. He also skated on loan with a pro team in Slovakia for 15 games in the 2020-21 season. The Twitter account (@BruinsNetwork) posted this assessment of Zech’s play: “Cooper Zech is one of the more crafty and elusive defenders I’ve seen in Providence. When carrying the puck up the ice, he has a knack for taking the space, drawing the attacker and then making a subtle, smart play with the puck. His shiftiness is quite hard to defend.”