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World Juniors: “A bit shaky” start for the Cooley trio

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The match between the United States and Sweden at World Juniors will be broadcast on Sunday at 8pm on RDS2.

EDMONTON – Logan Cooley’s Junior World Championship so far can be summed up in a succession of small frustrations. Nothing that makes him lose his smile, on the contrary. The American laughed and relaxed on Sunday morning, just hours before tying up his skates for an important match against Sweden.

We felt, however, that he was in a hurry for luck to start smiling at him.

A chin bandage camouflaged a scar left by a stray puck the day before against Austria, a game in which he still blamed himself for failing two attempts to score a Michigan-style goal.

“I don’t know what I was thinking”, he scourged himself. I had the door wide open and my shot was just missing. “

To make matters worse, Cooley had to spend a good hour in the arena after his team’s victory, time when his bladder allowed him to team up with IIHF employees who had come to subject him to a random drug test.

On ice, even Cooley’s body is slow to demonstrate perfect synchronization with his brain’s commands. The third pick talent in the most recent NHL Draft is mind-blowing to anyone who takes the time to watch him closely, but the line that pivots with outfielders Matthew Knies and Matthew Coronato doesn’t take his assigned place. before the start of the tournament. The “big line” currently among the Americans is rather that of Quebecer Thomas Bordeleau with Carter Mazur and Landon Slaggert.

“Of course we would like to produce a little more, admits Cooley, who after three games claims one goal and two assists. But I keep saying that we have had several dominant appearances in the offensive zone. It’s just that luck doesn’t smile at us very much. “

“It’s a little shaky right now,” Knies said in more direct terms the day before. But we’ll get there. This is our first time playing together and I just need to understand Logan a little better. We know he likes to slow down the game and that takes an adjustment period for me. But it will come. “

talent and work

Despite a bad start, Knies doesn’t want to play with any other central player. He is also one of those who convinced Cooley to join the University of Minnesota for his undergraduate career. The two will team up with the Gophers next season.

“It’s simple, we just have to give him the record! He makes incredible plays and is confident enough to always want the puck on his paddle. I think the more we can find a way to feed him, the better our team will be. “

“I was a fan of his as soon as I saw him play for the first time, says his teammate Thomas Bordeleau. He is one of my best friends on the team, I really enjoy spending time with him. We are the same type of player, not the biggest or the tallest, but we are more talented and cerebral. I like to train with him and try things on ice. He has a great career ahead of him. “

Cooley is one of three Team USA players born in 2004. Only forward Charlie Stramel, a 2023-eligible forward who plays a marginal role in the squad, is his caddy. Despite his young age, coach Nate Leaman says the decision to include him on his roster was made on his own.

“I expected him to have an entire tournament last December before everything was canceled,” Leaman said earlier this week. We had time to play against Slovakia and he has made a lot of great plays in this match. I expected this tournament to really put him on the map. “

“He is a very dynamic player and when he works as he does now, his impact is even greater. I think he’s done [le match contre l’Allemagne] with five shots. It is important for the whole team when such a talented player uses shoulder pads from time to time. “

Private flight to Arizona

It’s not the first time this summer that Logan Cooley’s daily life is tinged with a bit of adversity. The new prospect of the Arizona Coyotes first visited the team’s facilities in July while attending the development camp. He first discovered the reality of professional hockey.

“What I remember is how much more difficult everything is. The competition is even tougher, we can’t take a break. Everyone is looking for work. As soon as we reach this level, it really is a business. The work of the kids is at stake. “

Life in the NHL has its privileges, however, especially when you’re a first-round pick with life ahead of you. Cooley received his first luxury treatment when the Coyotes flew him to join the organization’s other recruits on a private jet. Among the passengers on this memorable flight was also Maveric Lamoureux, of the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

Cooley, however, is willing to wait before finally joining the lives of the rich and famous. The young talent will complete at least one season in the NCAA before signing his first NHL contract.

“I want to take the time to develop a little more, gain muscle mass and add elements to my game.”

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