Denver captain Logan O’Connor shines at Avalanche Development Camp

Photo courtesy of DenverPioneers.com

Forward Logan O’Connor turned heads Sunday at the Colorado Avalanche 3-on-3 rookie game scoring four goals

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – In the past couple month’s, a lot has changed for the University of Denver Pioneers hockey club.  Their head coach Jim Montgomery made the jump to the NHL signing with the Dallas Stars, their top three leading scorers left school early to turn pro, and two of their biggest leaders in Adam Plant and Tariq Hammond have graduated.  Amidst all the change, forward Logan O’Connor continues to do what he does best to be successful; work hard.

O’Connor was named captain of the Pioneers on June 7th of this year following the announcement that David Carle had been promoted to head coach of the team.  And for anybody who watched the Pioneers the last season, putting the “C” on O’Connor’s sweater shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.  He isn’t the flashiest player on the ice, but he may be the most consistent.

Known for his penalty killing and relentless forechecking, O’Connor was one of Montgomery’s favorite forwards to put out on the ice and it showed when he was out there when games were on the line.  He can also score some pretty nice goals.

Avalanche Development Camp

At the end of June, the Colorado Avalanche announced their development camp which typically runs just weeks after the NHL Draft at the Family Sports Center in Centennial, Colorado.  One of the invitees was DU captain Logan O’Connor who is an undrafted college free agent.  As such, earning an invite to an NHL development camp is an accomplishment in itself.  It speaks volumes that several Pioneers attended camps for NHL teams all over North America.

The Avs also announced the camp would feature a 3-on-3 game in Fort Collins for the prospects.  Generally, development camp consists of a week of drills concluding with a scrimmage, but this was a real treat for the fans.

As the bleachers filled at the Edora Pool Ice Center in Fort Collins, fans had their eyes set on 2017 4th overall selection and rising sophomore at UMass, Cale Makar.  Other notable players included forward Shane Bowers from Boston University, forward Cam Morrison from Notre Dame, and 2018 1st round selection Martin Kaut.

But nobody expected Logan O’Connor to steal the show.

O’Connor’s first goal came in the first period when he crashed the net and roofed a rebound backhand over the goalie’s glove.  This happened on one of his first shifts of the game.  His speed was noticeable throughout the game, out-skating many of the Avs’ top prospects.

O’Connor’s second goal came when he and forward Nikolai Kovalenko were on a 2-on-1 rush in the first period.  O’Connor found a soft spot in the slot and fielded a perfect pass from Kovalenko.  He sent a one-time shot to the corner of the net beating the goaltender high stick-side.

On his third goal, O’Connor held off forward Sampo Ranta with great body position and scored five-hole on a beautiful backhand shot right in front of the net.

And lastly, the game went into a shootout despite the white team winning the 3-on-3 game by a considerable margin.  The shootout ended up going several rounds tied 1-1, but only because O’Connor scored on his attempt early.  Here he waits out the goaltender and puts a quick wrist shot past him top shelf.

Takeaways

O’Connor is in great shape and has stepped up his offensive game.  As the captain of the University of Denver Pioneers you have to be tough and lead by example, and that’s exactly what Pioneer fans are getting. In a transition year where stability is crucial, having guys like O’Connor lead the way is invaluable.

In addition to his offensive outburst, O’Connor outplayed a lot of top prospects in front of the entire Avalanche front office.  That includes Mr. Avalanche himself, Joe Sakic.  Logan O’Connor may not be done with his audition with the Avalanche.  Whether this comes in the form on the NHL club keeping their eye on him this season or an invite to training camp, he did everything he could and more to increase his chances of becoming a professional hockey player.

We’re already seeing the lasting effects that Jim Montgomery has on his players.  His mantra is “team-first,” but we’re seeing players get rewarded with success from their hard work.  In a game that only has one puck, it’s easy to be selfish but these players understand it’s a team effort.  David Carle is cut from the same cloth and will continue preaching these same values.  It should be a pleasure for fans of the Crimson & Gold to see young players from this program get these kinds of opportunities. The 2018-19 season is off to a roaring start and it’s only July.

 

9 thoughts on “Denver captain Logan O’Connor shines at Avalanche Development Camp”

  1. Season is about 3 months away. Still don’t have a non-conference schedule??? Maybe they can call Gwoz and get Valor to come play a two game set at Magness if they’re that desperate for home games?

    I see ticket prices are out though, better start saving now so I can pay $100 to take my family of four to a college hockey game. Why so expensive??!!

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  2. So the roster has been officially listed. As projected, Ryan O’Reilly and Brendan Budy are slated to play in the USHL this season and join for 2019-2020. Dayton Rasmussen is no longer with the program and is looking into transfer options, or going back to the USHL to look for a new college opportunity for 2019-2020. It looks as though Sean Comrie will be with the team this year. But my only question is, what happened with Eero Teravainen? Is he no longer in the mix with DU? Did he defer to next season? Is he going to play in the Liiga?

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  3. Eero Teravainen is likely going professional, likely in Europe. You won’t see him in a Pioneer jersey.

    And DU hockey pricing is still a bargain, when you compare the experience with other live sport and entertainment options here in Denver.

    A family of four at an NHL game? $350-500 ballpark depending on where you sit and what you eat. DU is about 1/4 to 1/3 of that price.

    DU is similar in cost to minor-league hockey, but with the traditions/collegiate atmosphere and a much shorter drive for most of us than the Colorado Eagles up north, I think DU is the better game night experience.

    There are cheaper live sports out there – high school sports, small college sports, even DU sports that aren’t hockey. But DU Hockey is still a good value for the price. Last year, 94% of Magness was full, so the market agrees…

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  4. Silly Swami. Keep drinking the 94% kool-aid Fartface Macneil and the rest of the athletic department shoves down your throats. And you left out the word LACKING when it comes to traditions/collegiate atmosphere at DU.

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  5. There nothing wrong with supporting our school and those it employs – after all, this blog has always been about generating school spirit for DU. The DU athletic department performs at a very high level given the many limitations it faces, and any complaints most of us have with DU athletics are relatively small. Athletics has been good to this blog over the years, and I believe the blog has been a huge help to the school (and the DU fanbase) over the years, too.

    That said, this blog has also been very critical of DU when it’s needed to be – especially when the school’s administration needed to be ripped about mascot, identity and major spirit issues in the past. This blog has stepped up an led the charge for our shared beliefs and pointed out those purveyors of malfeasance, by name, when warranted.

    Sure, we’d all like to see more DU spirit, but given the many serious competitive, academic, societal, geographic, socio-economic, historical and cultural factors working against us, it’s a long slog to progress.

    By the way, you seem to have some serious personal issues with Brandon, and as others have posted here, you really should sit down with him and try to solve them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would try and resolve them, but you and your cronie authors removed a post with his email address. Yet you claim to not censor any posts. I call BS!

      P.S. the tire roll is DU’s strongest tradition, LMAO!

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  6. Does anyone know if Tanner Jaillet is attached any NHL or AHL interest this off-season? He hasn’t signed a contract in any league.

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