After years in the junior ranks, Connor Logan joined the State University of New York men’s hockey team this fall. (Gabe Dickens photos)
PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK – Following a brief adjustment period Connor, Logan is enjoying his college life as a student and athlete.
The 21-year-old member of the Ditidaht First Nation is a rookie forward with the State University of New York (SUNY) Plattsburgh Cardinals men’s hockey team.
The Cardinals, a Division 3 squad, compete in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC), which features nine clubs.
“I knew I wanted to play college hockey somewhere,” Logan said. “And I wanted to find a place with good academics that I could pursue at the same time.”
Logan is enrolled in the school’s four-year Fitness and Wellness program.
It’s actually been a number of years since Logan was in school. He graduated from Belmont Secondary School in Victoria back in the spring of 2014.
And he spent the past three years focussing solely on his hockey career. During the 2016-17 campaign, his final season of junior eligibility, Logan was a member of the Battlefords North Stars, part of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
And the year before that he toiled with the Prince George Spruce Kings, who compete in the Junior A British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).
Upon graduating from high school, Logan bounced around between three junior franchises during the 2014-15 season. Not only did he suit up for the BCHL’s Powell River Kings, but he also played for the Peninsula Panthers and the Campbell River Storm.
Both the Panthers and Storm are Junior B squads that participate in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.
Logan admits it was a bit of a change for him, being in class again now more than three years after he graduated from high school.
“It was definitely an adjustment for sure,” he said. “It took me two to three weeks to wrap my head around it that I was back in school. Once I got used to it, it’s not as hard now. I can handle the school and the hockey now.”
Eventually Logan aspires to become a strength and conditioning coach. But he is hoping to delay that part of his life so he can continue to play hockey after his collegiate career.
“Right now I’d like to go pro if possible,” he said. “But right now I’m just taking it year by year.”
Several Division 3 programs in the United States expressed an interest in Logan. But he didn’t accept his offer until August of this year, mere weeks before the school year started.
SUNY Plattsburgh had been pursuing him for some time.
“It was probably since last Christmas,” he said. “We continued to talk right up until the time I signed with them in August.”
Logan didn’t seem too concerned about taking his time before announcing where he wanted to spend his collegiate career.
“I took a bit longer to commit,” he said. “I wanted to make sure the place I committed to was the right place for me since I would be spending my next four years there. I talked to quite a few schools. But I liked the program that (SUNY Plattsburgh) were offering.”
Cardinals’ coach Bob Emery is glad that Logan eventually agreed to sign with his squad.
“It was touch and go there,” said Emery, who is in his 29th season of coaching the SUNY Plattsburgh squad. “But no doubt he was a player we really wanted. If he wasn’t we would have moved on to other recruits because it was so late in the summer.”
Logan didn’t travel from his home in Victoria to Plattsburgh before committing to the school.
“I didn’t actually visit the school (before signing with them),” he said. “I just saw videos about the school and program and I did my homework on them.”
The Cardinals are carrying 26 players on their roster this season. A maximum of 20 can dress for each match.
Logan has played in six of the club’s first eight contests this season and has one assist thus far.
He realizes he needs to continue to perform well to remain in the club’s starting lineup.
“You have to play well every night,” he said. “Everyone on our team is a good hockey player.”
Logan added the U.S. collegiate ranks are indeed a step up from the Junior A leagues in Canada.
“Everyone at the Division 3 level was the top player on their junior clubs,” he said. “Every step you take further in your career (the competition) gets better and better.”