Cole Borchardt just had the shift of his life. The 19-year-old didn't score a goal or block a shot, but he did walk without assistance and that's practically a miracle, considering where he was a year ago.
Borchardt, a good friend of Vancouver Canucks first-rounder Brock Boeser, was a passenger in a Jeep that crashed when he and three other friends were on their way back from a 2014 summer outing at Cannon River in Minnesota. Ty Alyea, a baseball ace at Burnsville High School, was killed when the vehicle rolled, while Borchardt was seriously injured. Boeser had just flown to Europe to play for Team USA at the annual Ivan Hlinka tournament.
A star with Burnsville's hockey team (which also produced Boeser and Nashville prospect Teemu Kivihalme), Borchardt required emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain and spent months under heavy sedation. He also shattered both shoulders, tore his left ACL, injured his spleen and broke his wrist. Doctors initially told his parents that he may not walk or talk again.
But here we are in mid-October, treated to this video from Borchardt's brother Cade, showing Cole walking on his own:
Borchardt has a ways to go in his recovery, but this was one incredibly big step along the way.
Video first sourced by Chris Dilks at SB Nation.