Marshall Everson has taken a rather unconventional route to stardom for the Harvard men’s hockey team.
“Nowadays it seems that a lot of guys are going to [a junior hockey league] for a year, maybe two years,” senior line mate Alex Killorn said. “[But] Marshall came straight out of high school.”
Everson captained his local high school in Edina, Minn. to much acclaim; receiving all-state honors his final two seasons. Crimson coach Ted Donato ’91 took notice and worked hard to bring Everson, now a junior, into the fold.
“He’s a guy that offensively we knew would develop,” Donato said. “He had some injuries early on that slowed him down a bit, but he’s really had a breakout year so far.”
After an injury-plagued freshman year and an unsteady sophomore campaign, the junior attacker has settled into his role as a bruiser on the first line for the Crimson (7-7-9, 6-4-7 ECAC).Everson, along with Killorn and junior Alex Fallstrom, gelled down the homestretch of the 2010-11 season and have since emerged as one of the most formidable first lines in the ECAC.
“I think they give us the feeling that on any night our first line can go out and beat the other team’s first line,” Donato said. “They’ve battled all year, and I think Marshall deserves a lot of that credit.”
Of the top-six point scorers for Harvard, Everson is the only one who has not been drafted by an NHL franchise. Yet there he is, third on the team with 22 points off of nine goals and 13 assists.
“You know, I think when I was younger, I probably thought about [not being drafted] a lot more,” Everson said. “Now I’m much more focused on doing what I can here, getting better and doing everything I can to help the team.”
That focus has yielded positive results, as Everson showed up for camp in the best shape of his career and has proved instrumental in leading the nation’s most effective power play.
“His job is to screen the goalie and cause a lot of chaos in front of the net,” Killorn explained. “Just doing that opens up a lot of plays for guys around the perimeter. He’s so strong and, as I said, causes so much chaos that it creates a lot of scoring opportunities for us.”
Not only has his renewed focus pushed Everson to new heights, but so, too, has the presence of an old nemesis and friend accelerated his prowess: his brother Max, a freshman defender.
“Absolutely there is competition between us,” the elder Everson said. “Anytime we’re matched up against each other the competition level is a little higher than normal. That sibling rivalry definitely comes through.”
Playing the role of older brother to a “T,” Marshall has also assumed a mentoring role in Max’s development.
“It’s nice, with our family so far away, to have him out here and keep him close,” Max said. “It’s a little like the good old days I guess.”
The good old days included a run in the Minnesota state championship that landed the Everson brothers in Sports Illustrated. Despite falling short in the championship game, those experiences helped forge a strong bond, both on and off the ice.