Colby Ambrosio

Tri-City’s Colby Ambrosio (67) celebrates after scoring the first Storm goal in a 3-2 overtime loss to Waterloo on Friday at the Viaero Center in Kearney.

KEARNEY — When Colby Ambrosio signed a tender agreement with the Tri-City Storm before last season the Storm believed the center had all the necessary traits to develop into a high-end scorer.

Last year was a transition season for the then-16-year-old. He showed glimpses of his potential, but the Storm knew he still had room to improve.

This season, Ambrosio performed up to the level the Storm envisioned. He was their top offensive player, tallying 26 goals and 50 points in 48 games.

"I think it was just my confidence that helped me have success," Ambrosio said. "Coming into this year, I had a year under my belt and had watched what the veteran guys did last year. I just came in and knew what I could do with my abilities and just wanted to show that. I just wanted to stay confident the entire year and have trust in my game."

The Storm’s season ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the offseason starting earlier than expected, Ambrosio has spent the off-time doing weight training, stickhandling drills and just finding ways to stay in shape.

In his two years with the Storm, Ambrosio has recorded 38 goals, 36 assists and 74 points in 105 games.

He believes he’s evolved as a player, especially on the defensive end where he dedicated time to studying video and working with coaches in practice.

His development during the last two years has prepared him for the collegiate level. Ambrosio, who’s 5-foot-8, 170 pounds, will attend Boston College this fall.

"When I went to tour there it just felt right," Ambrosio said. "I like what the coaching staff has to offer. They develop speed guys who are kind of smaller like myself, and I just enjoy their development program.

"I think this is the perfect step for me to go to Boston College just because of the confidence I have and the year I had this year, I just have to keep that up now."

Ambrosio also is eligible for this year’s NHL draft, which was set for late June but has been postponed due to the pandemic.

NHL Central Scouting ranks Ambrosio as the 71st best North American skater, which projects him to be a fourth- to sixth-round pick. He has met with NHL teams virtually in preparation for the draft.

"I am just trying to stay positive now that I can’t get on the ice," Ambrosio said. "The draft is on my mind a little more. I’m getting a little anxious just because it’s something I’ve been working towards my entire life. I’ve just tried to stay positive and work on my craft so that way when the day comes, there are no regrets and I can just keep pushing forward."​

@DanZielinski3