Former Colorado College forward Winkler dies unexpectedly at 23

Scott Winkler, a former forward at Colorado College who just graduated in May, has died at the age of 23.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Winkler was found dead at his parents’ home in Asker, Norway, on Wednesday. The cause of death is unknown.

“Everyone loved him and respected him,” said 2012-13 CC captain William Rapuzzi to the Gazette. “He was a brother to all of us. It just doesn’t make sense.

“He treated everyone great. He was always in a good mood and was always there for the other guys whenever you needed someone. He went out of his way to help others. He was someone you always wanted to hang out with because he was always so positive.”

Winkler was a third-round pick (89th overall) of the Dallas Stars in the 2008 NHL draft and he finished with 24 goals among 63 points in 120 career games with the Tiger, including a career high 28 points as a senior in 2012-13.

“The Dallas Stars are heartbroken to hear about Scott’s passing,” said Dallas general manager Jim Nill in a statement. “Scott was a wonderful young man with great character and a bright future. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

“He was very dedicated and hard-working,” added Tigers’ coach Scott Owens. “He would come in before class to get in extra work and then do the team workouts.

“It’s still hard to believe. I feel badly for the Winkler family, his friends, teammates and everyone who knew him.”

Funeral services are pending.