BETTING À DAY
For United States center Logan Cooley, the road to the National Hockey League is more of a marathon than a sprint.
Third overall pick in the last draft, behind Juraj Slafkovsky and Simon Nemec, Cooley is considered by many to be the hockey player in this vintage with the highest offensive potential.
But it will be another year before we see what he will be able to accomplish at the next level. Ahead, Cooley has big ambitions, and the least we can say is that the striker's 2022-2023 season could be crowned with success.
She could also start with a gold medal around her neck, if we consider that this summer World Juniors is the start of the coming season. The United States are, as usual, one of the favorites to win and will be again in December and January, at the next tournament which should finally take place on the scheduled dates and in front of spectators.
But, through that, it is especially a first season in the NCAA which awaits him, with the Gophers of the University of Minnesota, which, according to the experts, are likely to be part of the powers of < br> the nation.
“I want to play a year in college to continue to develop, to get bigger and stronger and to continue to improve certain aspects of my game. I believe that we will have one of the best defensive brigades in the country, in more than a very good goalkeeper and a lot of talent in attack. I can't wait for it to start. »
With Knies and Faber
Cooley had a verbal agreement with the University of Notre Dame before switching allegiances and accepting the Gophers' offer. Before making it official, he spoke with his teammates from the American team Matthew Knies and Brock Faber. The two hockey players, respectively prospects for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Minnesota Wild, have decided to return to play another season in Minnesota rather than make the leap to the professionals.
“ I asked several questions, as much about the school as the coaching staff and what the team was going to look like. They played an important role in my decision.” a
In the case of Knies and Cooley, they have the potential to become one of the most dangerous duos in the NCAA next season, and the World Juniors is meant to be preparation for both players. Placed within the same trio in the first three games of the competition, they were separated along the way in the fourth, Sunday evening.
“It's the first time we've played together and I have to try to understand Logan a little better on the ice. He is a player who likes to slow down the game and I have to adapt,” Knies said before the game.
Although he won't play with the Coyotes in 2022-2023, Cooley still got a taste of what to expect during the team's last development camp, on the ice… and off. .
“They flew us to Phoenix on a private jet,” he said. And there it was so hot. I think it was 120 degrees [49 degrees Celsius]. As soon as we went out, we were automatically sweating. […] On the ice, I saw how difficult it was. The players work so hard and everyone wants to earn their place in the squad. When you get to that level, it's a business and everyone tries to steal your job. ”
But all that is still a long way off. Ahead, Cooley has two gold medals and an NCAA national title up for grabs.
Thomas Bordeleau among his biggest supporters
With his flamboyant style on the ice, Logan Cooley certainly already has several fans. You can count Thomas Bordeleau among them.
The two forwards met for the first time during the American team's summer camp last summer, in view of the World Juniors presented in December and then canceled along the way.
While they automatically developed a friendship off the ice, Bordeleau also quickly fell in awe of Cooley's skills.
“I love everything about his game. I was a fan from the first time I saw him play. He is one of my best friends in the team and I really enjoy spending time with him. We are the same kind of player. We are not the biggest, but we are more gifted and cerebral. I like to practice with him and try things out on the ice. He has a very, very good career ahead of him and I hope not to face him too often in the coming months,” said the San Jose Sharks prospect.
Reciprocated feelings, says Cooley.
“We skated together at summer camp and it clicked instantly. He is a very funny guy and we laugh a lot together. He is fun to be around. ”
Cooley's role has grown in importance with Team USA, due to the absence of Matty Beniers. head coach Nate Leaman. We had played against Slovakia and he had created a lot of plays. I really thought he would come out of the shadows in this tournament. He is a dynamic player and when he works, he is even better.
But all is not perfect in his case, notes the one who leads the Friars of the Providence University, NCAA.
“You have to remember that he's still young, being born in 2004. I think he's learning that when you go up level, there are adjustments to be made. Your attendances must be shorter and the things that did not appear in the under 18s are not forgiving here. In terms of talent, skills and sense of the game, this is not a problem for him. However, like all young players, he is still learning the little details of hockey.