Jordan Power, a four-star prospect, recently committed to St. Lawrence University. The Ottawa, Ontario, native is in his first season with the CCHL and earned an A- grade at the CCHL Labor Day Showcase. The 16-year-old skates well and has good puck retrieval skills, poise and great vision. Power, a confident defender, was taken in the 14th round of the OHL draft and currently plays for the Rockland Nationals.
We caught up with Power about his time in Ottawa, playing for the Toronto Nationals and how he committed to St. Lawrence.
NZ: How and when did you start playing hockey?
JP: I started skating when I was probably three years old, and then at four years old I started playing. It was IP level so it was a couple of friends, things like that. My dad was the coach.
NZ: What’s your earliest memory of playing hockey?
JP: It would probably be when I made my first novice A team, that’s the earliest thing I can remember. I was a forward, I wasn’t very good and I knew the coach so I was kind of lucky to be put on the team, so I was pretty excited.
NZ: What was your youth hockey experience like growing up in Ottawa?
JP: It was really good. I played for the Kanata Blazers up until major peewee and then I played for the Senators AAA for a couple years and then played minor midget last year actually in Toronto [Nationals]. But before that in Ottawa it was really great, there’s a bunch of really good coaches around here, like Jason York. He played in the NHL and he coached me most of the way up, up until AAA. A lot of people like that helped me get better and I went on the ice [working on] extra skills like my skating. That helped a lot, and [it was a] really positive atmosphere
NZ: How did you end up in the CCHL?
Last year I moved away to play minor midget for the Toronto Nationals because I thought it was really good for my development to improve under the coaches. It was a really great year and [then] I was a part of the Ottawa Jr. Senators before and they traded me to Rockland [around] January. I figured I’d go to the camp, see how it goes and I was lucky enough to be able to sign. It’s been nothing but amazing so far, from the camps to so far in the season. It’s been an unbelievable experience.
NZ: How’d you come to the decision to leave for Toronto at such a young age and what was that discussion like with your parents?
JP: The coach, Wayne Primeau, contacted me in December of the season before I went and said, ‘We have a spot open if you want to come play and be a contributor on our team.’ Originally I didn’t think much of it, I just said that’s pretty cool but I probably won’t do it, I’ll probably stay in Ottawa for another year. Then I thought more how it could be great for my development, playing on a top team in Toronto, and I went to my parents and told them if it’s possible I’d really love to go and play there and have a great experience ahead. I had an amazing experience playing there in Toronto [with] a new school, new friends, new teammates, new coaches. It was an incredible experience. Our team did very well and I met some people who I’ll be friends with forever.
NZ: How did it help your development as a player, and in what areas did you develop the most?
JP: My coach Wayne, he was an ex-NHL player, so there were little things that he would teach us, like having a really good gap and having an active stick. The stick’s really important. And taking on quick guys, you have to be in the right position always with your stick to force them [into] turnovers [so] you can get the puck. I think also activating up in the rush more. I learned to be that fourth forward up in the rush to help my team produce offensively. [They were] just a bunch of little things that made a positive impact on my game.”
NZ: What was the experience of getting drafted in the OHL like?
JP: That was pretty cool. I was actually on a trip to Europe with my school, but it was pretty cool. I got a call from my dad first and he told me congrats, and then Mississauga called me and it was pretty cool and pretty exciting. I worked pretty hard toward that and to be taken by a team like them. A ton of people reached out and told me congrats and it was a pretty cool experience.
NZ: Were you considering going to the CHL or did you have your mind set on NCAA hockey?
JP: I think at a young age I was always learning more toward NCAA hockey. I just really liked the atmosphere [and] they have a ton of guys going to the NHL now. I have nothing against the OHL or anything, I played in Toronto so I learned a ton about it while I was there. A ton of people are extremely interested in it, it’s a great league, it’s an awesome league to help players develop and get to the NHL. I thought it was better for me to go to the college route and get my degree if hockey doesn’t work out, but it also gives me the option to hopefully one day play in professional hockey.
NZ: What experience did you have with college hockey growing up?
JP: I committed to St. Lawrence, which is only about an hour and a half I’d say, from my house, so I’d been there a couple times to see some games. And all the students are there, it’s sold out every game. All of them are 18 to 23, 24 years old and all men and excellent hockey players. It’s a really intense game and all the coaches that I’ve met from NCAA have been very positive, know a lot about the game, have connections professionally and can help me academically get my degree. I thought it would be a really cool experience playing hockey at a university.
NZ: What other schools reached out to you and where did you go on visits?
JP: I was in contact with about a dozen schools I’d say. The longest school I was in contact with would be St. Lawrence for sure, I was talking with them while I was in Toronto. There were a couple emails here and there with other schools, but I’ve been on visits to St. Lawrence obviously and I went to Dartmouth and Boston University as well. I researched about a lot of other schools that contacted me, [but] I thought that I was comfortable with the school I picked and I’m really happy that I’m going to spend four years there and play four years there, and I think it was a really good choice.
NZ: What other factors led you to pick St. Lawrence?
JP: I really liked the small-town feel of being on campus. They only have one sport, so a ton of people are rooting for you. I knew all the coaches pretty well, they were all defensemen as well so they know a lot. Mike Hurlbut played professionally in the NHL, and they can teach me tons of valuable things that can help me achieve my goal of playing in the NHL. I love the rink, and the campus is really cool too. Overall I just think it’s a really good fit for me.
NZ: What’s the best experience you’ve had in hockey?
JP: The best experience in hockey would probably going to the OHL Cup in that tournament. Our team was kind of an underdog. We made it as a wildcard and, even though we lost in the finals with nine seconds left, it was still a great tournament. We had a couple excellent wins and close games, but it was really cool playing in that atmosphere of playing top teams in Ontario and seeing how we could do and how we were able to beat a bunch of teams we weren’t supposed to. That was pretty exciting.
NZ: What’s your best on-ice skill?
JP: It would probably be my hockey IQ, my brain. I think I understand the game really well. I know when to fill lanes, `when to move the puck. I find I’m pretty smart with the puck and mostly know what to do with it.
NZ: What area of your game are you trying to improve the most?
JP: I think the biggest thing for me would be to get bigger and stronger off the ice, but I think another thing to do is continue to work on things like my skating, my shot, just little things that can make a big difference. But definitely get bigger and stronger.
NZ: What advice would you give to someone who’s contemplating moving away from home to play hockey around the age you left?
JP: If you know your situation or the coaches or maybe even a couple kids on the team and you want to try something new. I was kind of nervous at first, but once I got there it was easy to make friends, meet a ton of people and you’re obviously playing hockey, so that helps too. I didn’t even go for a full year, I was just there for the hockey season and it was a pretty cool experience. I’d tell anyone to do the same thing I did any day.
NZ: What’s the toughest challenge you’ve faced in hockey?
JP: That’s a tough one. The toughest challenge would be, last year we were the first place team, won the regular season then lost to the eighth-place team in the first round of the playoffs so we had to battle back. It worked out positively in the end, but it was pretty tough not winning that round and making it harder on ourselves.
Photo Credit; Hickling Images