Holding out for the offer you’ve been dreaming of can be difficult, but the wait is often worth it.
That’s what St. Michael’s Buzzers defenceman Ian Edmondson is hoping for as he enters his fourth and final year in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL).
The Buzzers captain is still NCAA eligible but has yet to commit to a school.
“A couple of schools are interested but I’m still working,” Edmondson said, after the team’s season opener Friday night, an 8-4 loss to the North York Rangers. “There’s a lot of work I need to do so this is a big year for me.”
Edmondson has been set on going to an NCAA school since a visit to Union College in New York state during his minor midget year.
“I saw the college, the school, the team and how it fit together and it was amazing. Ever since I’ve wanted to play college hockey,” he said.
The OHL’s Niagara Ice Dogs drafted the 19-year-old in 2011 with the 140th overall pick. However, playing in the OHL wasn’t what he wanted to do.
“It was an honor to be drafted there but that wasn’t really my goal,” he said. “School has always been something I’ve been looking at doing, seeing Division 1 schools my draft year and that’s something I wanted to do.”
It would appear as though Edmondson won’t have trouble finding any suitors.
He understands the program, … he’s well liked by his teammates, well respected by his teammates, communicates well with his coaches so he’s the kind of guy who fit that captaincy role,
He was a member of the 2012-13 OJHL champion Buzzers and enters the 2014-15 season as the Buzzers captain, a role he also had last season.
He’s a shutdown defenceman who can get his name on the score sheet too, as he did Friday night with a goal. In 142 regular season games, he has nine goals and 29 assists with 75 penalty minutes.
Buzzers assistant coach Vic Criscuolo said that Edmondson was the logical choice to captain the team.
“He understands the program … he’s well liked by his teammates, well respected by his teammates, communicates well with his coaches so he’s the kind of guy who fit that captaincy role,” he said.
Edmondson came to the Buzzers four years ago as an underager. Since then, Criscuolo said he’s watched Edmonston evolve into an extremely reliable defenceman.
“He’s a shutdown guy,” he said. “[He] starts most of our power plays, most of our penalty kills. Eddy’s the kind of guy on a night who logs somewhere between 24-28 minutes of ice time depending on the game and situation.”
Leadership comes naturally
As captain, Edmondson said he understands the leadership role he has. On top of that, he loves to help the younger players on the team.
His defensive partner is Marcel Fatovic, an 18-year-old who is new to the team and has just 51 career OJHL games under his belt. Edmondson took him under his wing to help him with the transition to a new team while aiding him on the ice.
“He’s new to the team so I love helping out guys that are new to the team,” Edmondson said. “[With] the younger guys on the team [and me] being an older guy, fourth year in the league, helping out the guys as much as possible is what I love to do.”
Michael Lata, another new player, concurred.
“Eddy is phenomenal in helping the guys and integrating them well with the team.”
Edmondson is looking to study business at college as he wants something to fall back on in case a career in hockey doesn’t unfold.
He says, however, that by walking into the St. Michael’s College School Arena daily, it motivates him to keep chasing his hockey dreams.
“It’s the tradition of coming here every night,” he said. “[It’s] such an old rink, so many pros played in this rink, so many moved on to the NHL, so many moved on to college so it’s really motivating coming here every day.
“That’s what I love about it.”