THE #ESHOW
THE #ESHOW

Episode · 11 months ago

Exclusive Interview (Connor Bizal and Adam Zukowski) | Episode 74

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this week's episode of the #EShow we chat with Connor Bizal and Adam Zukowski, a pair of forwards from this past year's EHL Champions, the Boston Jr. Rangers. Bizal and Zukowski are also the Co-Founders of The Fellowship of Hockey Advancement, a free resource for high school and junior hockey players who are looking to succeed and grow at their level. The mentors at FHA provide advice and support to players who need help overcoming their obstacles and getting to where they want to be. Bizal and Zukowski take the time to share their respective stories including some of the hurdles they've each had to overcome.

Welcome to the e show with Neil Ravin. With over onezero NCAA commitments, the ehl is the proven path to college. Turn it up and learn more about the college placement leader at the division two and three levels. Welcome to the east show, presented by the penalty box foundation. Foundation's mission centers around their daily motto we take care of our own as they help out all of those within the hockey community who've experienced a catastrophic event. I'll learn more at penalty box foundation dot Org. What's up? My name is Neil Raven and this episode number seventy four of the e show, and on this week's episode we shot with Connor Bizol and Adam Zookowski, a pair of for from this past year's Eh Shel champions, the Boston junior rangers. Bizarre and Zookowski are also the CO founders of the fellowship of Hockey Advancement, a free resource for high school and junior hockey players who are looking to succeed and grow at their level. The mentors at Fah provide advice and support to players who need help overcoming obstacles and getting the where they want to be. Biz All and Zukowski take the time to share their respective stories, including some of the hurdles that they had to overcome, joined now by Connor Bizal and Adam Zuokowski, the CO founders of the fellowship of hockey advancement. As it going. Guys, good are you to be here. Thanks for coming on and we talked about this for a little bit. I wanted to give a little bit of time to breathe after your championship season. We're going to touch on that, of course, but will either want to you start with it with the very general, basic question. What is the fellowship of Hockey Advancement? And take this one busy. We're a free mentorship program for players aged fourteen through twenty one, basically helping players and their guidance through junior hockey, high school hockey, making the decision decision to jump to juniors and helping him through the process by that transitions really difficult, going from team to team, getting cut, getting traded, just kind of helping player sort the whole deal at being sort of a big brother the whole process. All right, who's idea was it? Oh Gosh, honestly, it was kind of it was a mixture of both. I think it's probably November when I saw I was working at the penalty box shop for drew, which obviously we all know. Drew and zoo came into to talk to drew about volunteering opportunities and I had been sitting on idea sort of similar what we're doing. I didn't know exactly how I want to do it or what platform I wanted to to use, and I heard him talking to drew about volunteering. So I was like, you know, I like, I think we both have kind of see my d idea here, like why don't we start thinking of something in Ju together, and from there just kind of we started brainstorming and and here we are and into it. Here I want to have you each tell me your story because first and foremost I see the ten plus jerseys you have behind you, Connor and the frozen finals had. So can you tell can you got to walk us through your timeline about how you got here today and where you're at right now? Yeah, so I al still start with myself. I'm from Minnesota. Grew up playing youth and high school Minnesota. Had A had a pretty good high school career. Had the opportunity to sign with a a North American team out of high school and that summer things when south of them things fell through, I was kind of start of like the whole mental client for myself. I end up playing for the for the Jersey Hitman. Played for three teams in that within that organization, which is probably probably pretty in common. But, you...

...know, went out there for a year, didn't I hadn't really known what the East Coast looked like hockey wise at that point. I just kind of need a team to go to and just found it and went there. And so then from there, that summer I went to like five knal camps and which I highly recommend not doing that. Like I burned out. I basically hated hockey by the end of it, and the more I got cut from teams, like the worst I felt about myself. I had I had just gone through like a tough like breakup off the ice, which, you know, it's it's something that guys, I feel like try not to get sad about or worried about, like that's just how life is like. You have to embrace that. So I had a really rough summer. I that was my well, I guess I got depressed my sophomore year high school. It was wasn't as bad as this time all. The second time around it was like ten times worse. I kind of just sat on it and was like, you know, I'm just gonna to hockey, take take control my life and put all my time for its hockey, which I mean physically it helped, but mentally didn't. I was ignoring the problems I was going through, and so I had been working with sports psychologists for like like a half a year to that point for some reason, and utilize them. I thought, you know, I was tough for than what I was going through. So I, you know, try to get through to my own which was a mistake and neither just needless to say, like the summer was miserable for me, like I I wouldn't have wished that upon my worst out of me. Like what I went through, and I mean now I'm comfortable talking about obviously, because like yeah, that's just the stuff that you had, like that's why we're doing this. is like everybody goes through this stuff and sometimes it's hard to like recomend as you're actually going through it or like recognize that you need to talk to somebody about it. But so ill other than that. So that's summer happening. I end up out of BGR. Honestly, like was kind of alastminute thing. Richard never see me play before and it was just it's like I was just going off of what he'd heard from somebody else. So I went there. I honestly I'd never really gotten better mentally when I first got there. I'd say, honestly, for the first half of the season I was like I was still in a pretty dark state. We all live in apartments together and it was a lot of fun in my like my roommates were great. I should have I should have felt come from up talking with them about it, but I for some reason didn't. But I was like I was staying at drink for like seven, eight hours a day, like I was. I get I'd be there like when when the P team is practicing, if that says anything like it was. They were a long days and I think part of it was just like because when I went home I just feel so gray and like so sad and like I'd be miserable. So I was like, all right, I'm gonna try to stay a drink as long as possible so I can like ignore that and and it's obviously not the right approach to it. I was staying busy for the wrong reasons. And but the scariest part was like I was playing good, like I was having a good I mean I had a rough start this season, but like I was starting to figure it out. And I'm like, well, if I'm playing good hockey, like I don't need to take care of the other stuff. But that's just not yeah, how it goes. So I had finished out that, you're honestly like, when I came back for the second half, mentally I felt so much better, like I had talked my sports psychologist really broke down like the root of my problems, and since then I've been happiest ever been to them. This season. I end up making the Minnesota wilderness and and I started the season of them. Got Cut for the first Games and Jodan BG are probably mid October. And I mean obviously that what a managual run that was. I mean copy my junior hockey care off of the championship was was unreal and I still, like it hasn't really...

...hit me yet. So well, I want to, I want to get into that mental side of things here. Assume but I want to hear Adam story next, because this is where you kind of become similar. Is, yes, your junior career is over now, but you ended it your final season. That's a captain. And now this upcoming year for Adam, his final season, he'sy to be a captain also. Add he can't take us through what led you to this moment in your career? Yeah, so we'll start all the way back to you business. Both threw up in the Minnesota System, which is actually pretty different than the mass system we've come to see. Like we play community hockey here. So basically I was in a whole organization with kids that would like the same exactly neighborhood and like within five minutes. We all grew up together all the way up from age five to thirteen. So I played there from St Paul, Minnesota, so it was just like the city kids, and then I went to St Paul Academy, Played Four years on high school hockey there. Went to the state term it my freshman year. I was awesome, played in front of like Twelvezero fans and then my junior senior year I was named captain. I had a really great high school hockey experience. Thought I was kind of getting close to the I A my senior year, talked to a couple different teams. Thought I was very close to a tender offer. I was talking literally for five months of the team and they kept like bating me with it and then taken it away and I was like getting really, really angry and I had been to camps before, like after my junior year, and I was kind of just waiting on that tender offer, trying to figure out where to go after high school. And around May I think my trainer told me like Hey, like, I don't think you can get that tender offer and I don't like the idea of you going to any camps unprotected. So he had me signed with the eighteen team and Su falls that I had. I had no clue anything about. They didn't have a coach at the time, but basically they get an automatic bited nationals every year, which is a great exposure for eighteen. You Hockey? Yeah, so I decided to sign with them. A great facilities everything. I mean we use a lot of the USAHL facilities down there too, which was awesome, and I had a really tough season that year. That was the worst season my life. I lived with my coach, who I'd never but before we lived in the town house, and my other roommate and I didn't like necessarily get along. My coach and I really didn't, really didn't click. He had a really different view on hockey than I did and it's tough when you have to go home like every single night after practice when either like you a nice screaming at are things like that, and I just kind of go to my room around like eight o'clock every night and like try and avoid talking to him. So I was basically isolated for most of my time and Zoe falls and like me and my teammates and really hang out there. Wasn't that that escape like we have at Bjr, which is really nice. Yeah, so I had a really poor experience and things just kind of cycled in the wrong way. But I did work really hard. My coach did actually put me on a really good stick handeling program. I did that for like an hour almost every single day all your got much better at hockey actually, and I ended up signing a tender with the Minnesota Edians in the NA around around the same time I signed was Bjr. So I signed with Bjr kind of as a almost a safety thing with just covid hit and I like figured I needed a team. There's something, something to play for next year. And Yeah, so I worked all summer trying to make the magician and I I did make it on a training camp, or I did...

...make it to training camp. I was there for about five weeks. It was like the longest little training training camp I ever been a part of. And then I ended up getting caught once a lot of NA teams, in ushl teams folded. They brought like seven or eight new guys and when that happened, so I saw the writing on the wall and I knew there's a great spot of bj are at that and I could go to and the team had a ton of success the year before and they guys like Biz that I'd heard of, or both Minnesota Boys, and our team ended up having like it was six guys, sending guys from Minnesota this year. So it was really comfortable transition for me too, and I kind of bounced around, like living on couches, living in different apartments throughout the year, but I had much better living situations, even though I was bouncing around. I had a great time playing there this year and things really cleared up in my head this year. I'm really happy to go back there next year as a captain. So it really excited to repeat too. I like that. So you each have have great stories that a kind of led you this moment. And I fought an interesting because this past week and I was out in Denver, Colorado for the CCM showcase, which featured it over foder players that are looking for home for this upcoming year and all the parents. That the most common questions they asked or about, you know, Post Grad Hockey, and you know it all sounds great. You know you don't have as many classes to take and this and that, but both of you went through experiences where mentally it wasn't as great as it may seem from the outside and you would find yourselves, it sounds like, spending even more time at the rink because it was your your safest, your safest spot to be. Can you can, either of you can, start with this first. Can you kind of talk more about why the rink was such a safe haven for you guys, busy that you got this all with? My two years of BG are like. We had such tight knit groups that when I was at the rink, like I mean, like I said earlier, like I was trying to avoid the things I was going through off the ice. But the same time, I I there is love being with the guys and and getting better with them. And, you know, rich riches made such a good culture there. That, I mean, that's all. That's all. This for a lot of other guys too, like we just want to be there as long as possible and even like it's crazy because, like, we all live with each other, so it's like we see each other off the ice anyways, like, but we still want to stay at the rink and just you know, either whether it's like working on after pushing each other get better, just just lear you just sitting there and talking like there's a there's a fee, a comfortability factor when it comes to that, and I don't know, I just think you get stock. That's all. Zooka, I kind of Gott in a wanting to do this. was like we have liked conversations after workout or something like. You get to know more about the guys in your team and like guys I've come from different places and you get to hear their stories and, like you guys can talk about the struggles that you both share and things like that. So yeah, and then, Adam, let's kind of look at it from a different perspective, because we've obviously covered you both from Minnesota. You both actually started in your home state this past year and both got cut in your home state this past year and then ended up north of Boston. Can you just talk about, like what does it feel like to honestly get cut? The walk out of the rink is the hardest part. Yeah, like, I had no clue either to say like by the boys, because I knew it's like I knew tended twelve guys on the team already, like yeah, I'd grown up with a few of them. Like it was really tough. And then I kind of spent this actually a pretty good story. It's...

...pretty dramatic, but we so I didn't I say t that I was going to take that weekend in Duluth, about two hours north. I got caught on on like a Wednesday and I talked to my adviser on the Kay like I'd really like to try and stay in the and I are staying like tier to hockey. But like this this was around the time where everybody was kind of getting caught. So like everyone was like they're probably hundreds of kids trying to find at homes. So my adviser spent a couple days like looking around making calls to guys he knew, because I didn't. This is the like your second year junior or first first year, you really want to try and stay into too as long as you can. Yeah, but like I got a call around like Friday and he's like yeah, like I'm gonna have you go to b Jr and like I didn't. I didn't know anything about it. Like again, like bit said rich and seeing me play, like I didn't know a single guy in the team and I'd be going across the country. I also I also had a girlfriend at the time and I was and she was going to school around my house, so I could see her all the time. So I kind of had to break that off to which was also difficult. So all this stuff was kind of spinning in my head and like all my way to my sat like seven in the morning after I got that call, like I had to pull my car over and at like like threw up on like the side of the road. There's like there's like so much like going on in my head. I was just so overwhelmed. Its crazy and I didn't know like how to deal with it early, but I took it. I drove myself out to Bjr all alone. It was like a twenty two hour car right. It was nuts, and found a home. It was really awesome. And you guys have such incredible experiences and then you come out of this season. You need create this new company, if you will, and because you want to be able to share your stories. And the most common thing I see on your website that stands out and on your social media, you guys use the word free hundreds of times. Why did that means so much to you to offer a free service to anyone in anyone out there? I can take you. I'm busy. As you go through juniors, you see how much stuff costs. You see free draft cans that cost five hundred dollars to play four games. Yeah, and like your opportunity out of that is so low, like out of like a five team all pre draft camp, or like they're like different advisors. There's not. There's not all like that. Advice is very good advice. II The great advisor myself, but that will really just scam me out of money. And we were talking about this where, like we don't want to be like some like a group in nineteen twenty year olds trying to make a profit off like fourteen through through twenty year olds or things like that. And Yeah, we just thought having it free would be a much more inviting and open opportunity. Plus, it's not like we have degrees in anything, so it's not we we just have a wealth of experience. So we're not really going to try and make a profit off of kids like that. And it doesn't it doesn't take money for it. Sorry, it was to stay like it doesn't take money for us to be good people and do the right thing. Like I think you know, we honestly just want to provide a resource that we wish we had when we were, you know, two years younger, we were just starting high school or to start in junior. It's like it's I mean there's a hole that needs to be filled in the junior high, high school and junior hockey world. Like that's just what we want to provide, like we don't need, they don't need to gain anything off and financially. So yeah, and now you guys have the experience of having played through a pandemic season. So let's Connor. Would start with you first, to have your first year with the Rangers and not even having the chance to play in a...

...playoff game, but but knowing that the team what had as good a chance as anyone to win the championship, and then coming back for your age out year with the uncertainty of kind of what laid ahead. How did you cope with all that? Yeah, I mean this year's been crazy for everybody, obviously, and I I was so sad when everything got shut down last year, as was everyone else, but it was it was weird because, like, for me, like I want to make a tear to team, and I knew that, but I also loved like Bgr and I was like, I don't know if I want to if I want to leave or what, and so it was hard getting it was hardly moving on from what happened the previous spring in the previous season, just know like like knowing that we wouldn't know what happened. Like they're like that was that there is always going to be an unknown there. So I mean I got over that as a summer went on and then honestly, like I did not think our team this year is going to be even close to what we worthy year before, which is crazy. It's crazy as it sounds like. I yeah, throughout the summer I'm like all like, let's be so hard to like Redo what we did last season, everything like that. But I think within the first week of me coming back to B Gr I was like, yeah, I think we're a little bit better, honestly. So, no, it's I mean this year has been so hard for everybody and I think that's what like, like people don't give themselves enough credit for what we've had to go through this year. And I mean I think our greatest ability is the ability to adapt to situations. I think everyone had to do that this season with all the restrictions and you know, and I having a lock room for aft the season, and obviously you guys did a great job of, you know, keeping US playing and finding place for us to play, and obviously everything that happened to the finals was was tremendous. So I mean it's been a hard year but honestly, I think it builds a lot of character and people. So, and Adam, speaking of adapting to get to the month of February, to be that close to the finish line in to stuffer an injury like you did, did you find yourself at you know whenever at night, thinking of yourself? Thank God am at no one, not an age shout. Yeah, I actually thought that all the time. It was. Yeah, I was a really tough situation. I like shattered my hand pre game war ups playing soccer and required surgery. So I was out for I was off for two months and I missed the entire frozen finals and our championship run, which which sucked. But yeah, I as a know what. I talked to rich and he's like yeah, like, this sucks a lot, but we'll get you back next year and you'll be then. You'll be fired up even more. You'll be ready to go next year. And the process of recovery was tough because I'd also crash my car like three days before, so I didn't have a car either because basically stuck with a broken hand in my apartment and I couldn't really like get out, which was tough on the mental. But again, I'd been through this before and sue falls. I'd also suffered injury and sue falls and I knew ways to cope with that and I filled my time up doing productive things and taking care of my mental health. Starting Fha was huge too. I spat. I spent a lot of time doing that. And then, yeah, just staying focused on the goal, being as helpful of my teammates as I could. I went to the drink every day, showed up to practice, I'd Watch, I'd Philip Waters, I'd get sticks, I and in the finals I drag gloves. I'd get as fast.

I didn't take a moment off. So, yeah, I'm more than fired up for next season. I'm fully recovered. I'm ready to go. was there ever a thought in your mind that I'm injured, I know I can't come back this year, why don't I just go home? Or was it always I want to stay with the team? Yeah, so, like three weeks and there's a kid from northern Ceyglans NCDC, hanging out with one of my teammates in our apartment and we're just talking. He is like, well, if you're not going to play there ask season, like why don't you just, yeah, go home? Yeah, and I was like, I never even thought to do that. Yeah, I I had like some of my best friends out there and if I go on home I would have been all alone. And like it's huge for next year, like I get to see the entire process of what winners and the championship Locker Room looks like, like how to respond after bad periods, like I'd be in the locker room at all time. So I don't really feel like I missed out on a whole lot other than obvious like individual purposes we had. We had a great player in Ethan heiderproom come to the team right after, right after I got injured. You filled field a huge role there. So yeah, I'm I'm happy about that. And you use the keyword adversity. So I want to shift it back to Connor, because we get to the championship game, which I know for me personally, I felt like two years in the making. I'm sure the same could be said for you and you guys fall behind in that game, not one nothing, but to nothing heading into the third period. Of course you know, most people know the history. You scored the game tying goal that moment in your career. Where does it rank? I mean, I probably put it like second behind the actual US winning the championship. It's tough. I black out and situations like that, like I go back in like watch the video of it and I'm like, I don't remember any of that happening because I was just so in the moment, like yeah, like it kind of in that moment I was like, man, we actually just tied this up, like we might win a championship here. And it's weird to say that because throughout the whole game, like even when we were down, like we were oddly calm, even in between periods. Like I think that that's that was the best part of our team is like we never really got fustered, even if you're down the even the regular season, that happened so many times. And to be on that big stage and be down, I was, I mean literally in a locker room like we're like Oh, like, yeah, we're down to nothing, but it's just going to make this story even better when we come back and win and we're like we're all ready to go. So it was I mean, yeah, I remember going back to the bench after after I scored, and I'm like ill, like we're actually like like this is it now, like like we got a game. So it was it's hard to explain honestly. So I'm assuming you have, but have you seen the picture of when you let the shock go and the goaltender for the avalanche is glove is literally inches away from stopping the pod? Have you seen that picture? I have. Yeah, that's a really cool shot. I mean I give I mean you in the defenseman and from I get in here because he don't face first to block that shot. I'm like that's the playoffs right there. But I was, I mean I had just missed the same play like I think, ten seconds earlier from Andy and I'm like I if I get this again, I gotta do something with that. So and let's. It's so funny you bring that up because the number of people that have called since the season's end and I got to tell the story of the finals and whatnot. Like I think you guys ran that play five times at least during the game and then I finally connected right there at the end to help send the game to overtime. But then let's just talk about that, that final moment for both of you when Johnny gets the breakaway and it feels like the whole building kind of stop for a second and then the goal goes in and the season like in that moment ends,...

...like can you even describe the feeling? Yeah, I mean I just I had such a delayed reaction because it happened and I'm like, like, I saw Johnny go and I siderally think much of that. I like, I like you, like whatever, I just gotten offs. I was pretty tired, like just and then, all said, everyone started jumping up and down on like I looked around, everyone's throwing their helmets and goes off. I'm like, oh my gosh, we just wanted like like if you look at if you look at any of the pictures of like us running in the pile, like I think I'm like the last guy because I know who was going on. I was like I was so confused. But no, I think being a returner who you know, we obviously didn't get the opportunity to finish what we started there before. It was like it was just really if it's like like I almost thought back like my whole junior career and I was like this is exactly like how I would have wanted to end. And I was like, I know for most guys, like an engineers, is pretty sad and obviously, with the special group we have like it that was the last time we were going to step put on the Earth, step on the ice together. So yeah, it but I couldn't be sad about I'm like we very just did this, like there's like this is the best feeling ever. So I was. Yeah, like I said, it's kind of hard to explain. Like it really took me, like, I think, a good month to like fully grasp like what happened. Yeah, so before we wrap around, back to Fah for you, Adam, to experience that. Obviously we talked about the injury, but then to be named captain for this upcoming year. How much pressure, honestly, do you feel for this upcoming season? There's a decent on of pressure and I'm I'm excited to see the kids we we bring next year because I know a rich does a really, really good job recruiting, so I have full trust in him. I know will have a great group. It's but yeah, I actually them. I look back and I imagine the things like business done younger did Morsy Shafer, although all the different parts of leadership they had. Each each captain had a really different role on our team and I've been like going going through this offseason trying to decide, like what type of role I'm best suited as as a leader, as I spent two years as a captain at St Paul Academy, so I do have a lot of experience with that. So I am really excited and I have a one of my best Buddys, Jack car, guess he's coming back. He's got he's guy captain say too. We've been training together all summer and we've just been talking nonstop about next season. He's going to be my roommate. Like we're more than ready to go and any you know that the target on your back will be huge throughout the entire lane. But then you know, we get to where we are now. We just crossed in the June and for many players I always envisioned that when you guys get to the offseason, it's a chance for you to in a way decompressed from the year that was and then start training. But then you guys come out with Fah what has been the outreach so far and and hopefully, of course, after this interview it grows even more. But what how have you felt the outreach has been so far? For you guys, it's been all right. You know, we actually I think we tech, we launched in January and then we figured out that we had some things behind the scenes that we need to figure out before we could even start talking to guys, and then the playoffs came around. So like, okay, like I'm kind of vote another time to that, like why don't we just officially get going after the season, once we get home? So yeah, we've been like fully going for about a month or a month and a half and honestly, like we've only talked to mainly guys that we've known previously. You're like that we've heard of. So it's a lot of Minnesota guys. Just got local guys. But the thing that like is really important right now is like a lot, like I said this, the season's been so hard for a lot of...

...people and it's easy to let this season to ruin. Like what's to come with the rest of your junior career, high school career, whatever it is? It's like right now, like we want to like talk to guys and on wine their season. You know, I think people probably have a lot of things in their chest they need to get off and things they need to like go from the previous season, thoise, it's going to ruin their next one. And saw. We're right now. We're walking guys through their previous season, kind of breaking down everything that's happened, everything that went wrong, like what what's what's up next, like what your goals? How are you going to do that? Stuff like that. It's really important right now to transition and in the summer. And Yeah, obviously we want to get a lot more people, you know, involved. We want to get a lot more of the east coast guys, because we have like we know what it's like. Ohdi, you Steven, though we're from Minnesota. So yeah, and and obviously you guys offer you the chance to talk to checks, talk on the phone, video conferencing, all that. You have a blog going as well and I read a few of your blog post before I got on this interview and I don't want to go through every story because I want people to go back and read the blog as well. But there was one story that Adam brought up in the five things you wish you knew as high school senior and you point out that you didn't. You should not burn bridges, can you? Can you just tell that story so we haven't here on the podcast to because it's a pretty it's pretty awesome story. Yeah, so my senior year I kind of talked about how those NA teams were kind of a sick room for way longer than I should have, Baden and whatever. So I also have like two very top and a three teams reach out. One was that. One was north IIH where they ended up winning the end it through this year. Yeah, and they wanted me to come skate with them for the rest of the season. I finish the year with them, and there's this huge I even had it like people don't want to go play like tears three hockey. They want they want to hold that that tier too standard or Tier One, and I didn't want to like I thought. I thought at that time I was I was too good. I shouldn't have ended up there. So these coaches are being so nice. We had like hour long calls. They were they kept reaching out, checking in on how I was doing, and then there would be days on days right I just wouldn't respond, like I didn't know how to like talk to them. I didn't know how to respond to a text, how to say know how to but like at the same time be respectful and keep keep those relationships going. And two of those head coaches that I talked to as I go through the offseason, I who I had ended up like the final text was like they had three tax waiting for me that I've had responded to. And and then I probably two months later, I see one coach is named like head coach of an n a team, one and any team that I was like talking to the whole year, as funny as that is. Yeah, and then the next year one of the coaches was named like associate head coach of another an a team, and I'm like looking at them like well, I can kind of scratch those two off my list. And and that doesn't even like encapsulate everything. Like they talked. Coaches talk like coaches will ask another coach about what they think of a player. Yeah, you, whether that be college has other junior teams. Yeah, so I made a mistake there. I don't know, I don't even know in what and what totally it cost me. Yeah, but it's something that we teach at Fah a. We say hey, like this coach is nice enough to really like your gay like to talk to you after. You really liked all you played. Like take that compliment and build that relationship. WHO cares if they're two three coaches all the time?...

Yep, and as I set up the CCM showcase this past weekend, you know a lot of two or three players in our League of course end up at division two and three schools, but you can get a strong academic experience at those schools as well, and I'm sure you're going to get that chance, connor, that you know this fall when you had to the SUNIAC, when you come back to the EH shell and you're one of the top, we probably could say five fowards in the League pointwise, and you start to get offers. How many different college coaches were you talking to? And then how did you finalize your decision to pick buff state? Yeah, so I honestly I like my first year with Bjr. I had like a handful of offers to play it that fall. It's still like not not going with my age out year and you know, I think around Christmas time that first year I decided, like I want to age out, whether it's with BGR, with a true to team whatever, and so like I had had some traction talking to schools from that previous year. Obviously when we had the showcases that you're that was huge. Like I remember our first showcase was in Walpole and I, you know, I had heard of the showcases, didn't really know much of them, and I was like I have walked outside of our first game. I think we'd played the the rough riders, and literally the Hallway was just line with college coaches and they were all for our team and I'm like, oh my gosh. I'm like this is really how it is, like this is this is pretty this is pretty cool. But no. So then this year, like I hadn't reached out to I mean I had some coaches that had contacted or stay in touch with them the summer, but I didn't really start reaching out to like the East Coast schools until I was driving out to Boston when I got cut from willerness. I think that's the most important thing too. I think players sometimes sit and way for coaches to come talk to them and sometimes you have to spark up that conversation and and take marries in your own hands, and so I did that. I reach out to a bunch of schools. It was kind of crazy. I was driving over with my dad and like I mean I don't mean like Bragg like if like I felt like it was like every like twenty minutes I was getting a call from a different school. It was awesome because I'm like, well, this is exactly what I want, like I want to I'm going to a team where I'm going to have a big role, I'm gonna be able to play a lot and like now I have these no, I have these eyes on me. So, you know, I think once I didn't really know what I wanted to do for a major, and I think that's kind of a play. The biggest role in my decision was I like, I think around Christmas time, I decide I want to go in to engineering, and obviously not a lot of schools offer that. So I kind of narrowed my list down pretty good. Yeah, and yeah, so I got down about I like like for schools. I like I generally really wanted to play hockey at and I really wanted to go study at and it was a tough decision in the end. But, like I it was funny, like I was talking to like talking Nathan Young, and we basically he was in the same boat as I was and we both had two schools that we really were interested in. Like it was like a like a coin flip between the two, and we walked each other through like the criteria, like what we're looking for and like what the school provides. We both like looked at each other like we both have one school that checks all these boxes, like why aren't we just committing there? And so then we both committed, like right then. I was like, okay, well, that that's it. I mean, once I committed, like I was just so like relaxed with the season, like I'd I didn't have to worry about, you know, whether when I was going to commit or whether I was going to be able to find a school. I got to take care of, and I mean obviously a lot of it has to do with the HL and like the way you guys set things up, but it was it was a good process and I definitely enjoyed it. And Adam, I'm sure I hopefully you're kindally coming right towards...

...the start of next season for you too. So you guys have, yes, of awesome stories. You've both been through so much, both on and off the ice. Some some similarities and some differences, of course. I want to make sure, though, that that the players that are out there right now and no to get in contact with you, because I brought up the CC. I'm showcased a few times and you guys have mentioned advised aasors and coaches and whatnot and the resources that they are. But I think the biggest message coming out of this, this episode of the Podcast, is one of the best resources that players could have our players themselves, because that are in their exact same shoes, and that's the whole idea, I would imagine, behind Faha. So we're going to get this podcast out later today and hopefully after the podcast the number of players we see out to you continues to grow. Yeah, and and the best ways to contact us or we have a contact page on our website or like direct message US anytime at our instagram or twitter accounts. It's at Faha mentors, and you guys have your phone numbers on there as well, so it's you mean. You guys responded to me right away about this and again, thank you so much for coming on and enjoy the rest of the offseason, conner. Good luck this fall. Hopefully you can come back and catch a few EHL Games and Adam l see you in September. Yeah, it's in the thanks for having us. I thank you, neal. Thanks for listening to the show. Learn more at Eastern Hockey League Dot Org and follow us on Facebook, twitter, instagram and Youtube. Also, be sure to subscribe and get notified when next week's PODCAST is released.

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