After three years of playing NCAA hockey for the University of Denver, forward Logan O’Connor has decided that it’s time to go pro—but he won’t be going far to do it.
It was announced by the Colorado Avalanche on Monday morning that O’Connor, who just wrapped up his junior with the Pioneers, has inked a two-year, entry-level deal with the NHL club.
The deal is a bit of a surprise; O’Connor, 21, was slated to be team captain for the upcoming 2018-19 campaign just up the road at the University of Denver prior to signing his contract.
The Calgary, Alberta, native helped DU capture the NCAA championship as a sophomore in 2016-17, appearing in all 44 games that year contributing 7 goals and 11 assists.
This past year, he dressed in all of the team’s games once again, skating out in 41 games as a junior and registering seven goals and 21 points while leading the Pioneers with two short-handed goals. The 6-foot, 179-pound right wing finished his college career with 43 points in 108 games, winning a NCHC regular-season championship (2016-17) and tournament championship (2017-18), to go along with his national title.
O’Connor will add some necessary depth to the organization’s forward depth chart.
“Logan is a hard-working player who brings leadership, energy and speed every night,” Avalanche Executive Vice President and General Manager Joe Sakic said, per the official release. “His game has continued to develop each season, and we are excited that he has decided to pursue his professional career with the Avalanche organization.”
O’Connor comes from a heavy-hitting pro hockey family. His father, Myles, also played NCAA hockey, skating for the University of Michigan for four years and serving as captain in his senior season. He then went on to play pro hockey for nearly a decade, appearing in 185 AHL games and 200 IHL games along with 43 NHL games before wrapping up his career with the Nippon Paper Cranes in Japan. The elder O’Connor recorded 1,050 penalty minutes in his combined 385 North American minor league games.
We should expect O’Connor to start the 2018-19 season in the AHL playing a bottom-6 for the Eagles.