Located in Hamilton, New York, the Colgate Raiders play in the NCAA’s Division I ECAC Hockey conference, under 24th-year head coach Don Vaughan. Under Vaughan’s tenure, the Raiders have been in the NCAA tournament three times, won 20 or more games six times, and appeared in the ECAC Hockey tournament 22 times, with him being named ECAC Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2014.
Vachon, 18, has just completed his first season of Junior A competition, in which he ranked eighth on the Bandits in scoring and fifth in goals with 38 points (23 goals, 15 assists) in 59 games played. His 12 power play goals were the 4th-most for any player in the AJHL, and 2nd-most among rookies.
Among first-year players, Vachon ranked fourth in points and second in goals league-wide.
“Arnaud has had a successful rookie season, developing and producing as the season went on,” said Bandits head coach and general manager Ryan Papaioannou. “He’s proven to be relentless in his puck pursuit and physically mature.
“His ability to score, both at even strength and on the power play was crucial to our regular season success,” he added.
The 6’2”, 195lb forward joined the Bandits this season after spending two years at The Hill Academy in Concord, Ontario. Last season, in 62 games played, Vachon scored 100 points (42 goals, 58 assists) in 62 games, while serving as team captain and being named Game MVP of the East Coast Elite League (ECEL) final.
In 2014-15, Vachon scored 54 points (26 goals, 28 assists) in 64 games in his first year with Hill Academy, and prior to that suited up for the minor midget AAA Ajax-Pickering Raiders, where he scored 41 points (18 goals, 23 assists) in 61 games.
“Off the ice, Arnaud has shown leadership in the gym and is making himself a candidate to be a future captain,” Papaioannou noted. “He’s had a long standing relationship with Colgate dating back to last season and this is a great fit for him and his family."
Colgate is also the Division I destination for current Bandit forward Josh McKechney, who along with Vachon will join current Raider and former Bandit forward Jared Cockrell at the school.
Vachon is the 10th player on the current Bandits roster committed to an NCAA Division I school, joining:
· Cale Makar (University of Massachusetts)
· Josh McKechney (Colgate University)
· Parker Foo (Union College)
· Joe O’Connor (Quinnipiac University)
· Charlie Marchand (Bentley University)
· Ocean Wiesblatt (University of Vermont)
· Orca Wiesblatt (University of Vermont)
· Nick Prkusic (Robert Morris University)
· Oliver Chau (University of Massachusetts)