Q&A: Isaac Langdon, Clarkson Recruit

Isaac Langdon, a four-star prospect, recently committed to Clarkson. The ’02 currently plays for the Quinte Red Devils of the ETAMMHL and was ranked seventh in our OMHA – ETA October Rankings. The skilled, two-way center earned an A- in Toronto Titans.

Neutral Zone chatted with Langdon about his youth hockey experience, his best skills and how he chose Clarkson.

Neutral Zone: How and when did you start playing hockey? 

Isaac Langdon: I have been skating for as long as I can remember.  My first full year playing hockey was when I was about four years old. I started with the Timbits program.

NZ: What’s your earliest memory from playing hockey? 

IL: I remember my grandfather making a rink for me in his backyard where I learned to skate. I remember it was really cold and the rink must’ve helped with my balance because it was on a slope and not a very even surface. I felt like I was training for a “Crashed Ice” competition.

NZ: What was your experience like playing for the Red Devils in the ETAMMHL? How has that helped your development?

IL: I started playing for Quinte AAA in my major peewee year after my family moved to Belleville from Kingston. The Red Devils are a great hockey association and have had some very successful teams over the past few years. This is due to their focus on player development and a team-first mentality. Teams are made up of mostly the same group of players all the way up from many small communities in the region, so there is a great relationship among teammates and a desire to compete for each other. I feel this has really helped me develop character and a great work ethic.

NZ: How did you decide to go the college route? Did you have any exposure to college hockey growing up?

IL: I had absolutely no exposure to college hockey initially but always heard it was an alternative route for players after graduating from high school. After visiting some campuses and learning more about what college programs had to offer, I realized it was an exciting environment and one that I would really enjoy. I knew I wanted to pursue a university education so I felt that this would be the best fit for me.

NZ: Take us through the NCAA recruitment process. What other schools were you talking to and where did you visit?

IL: I visited multiple college campuses over the past year or so with the purpose of comparing both the hockey and academic programs. I really wanted to get a feel for what program would be best suited for me and to which team I would be able to contribute the most. There are definitely a lot of great programs and it was helpful for me to see a number of different schools and talk with each of the coaches who had seen me play. This helped me sort through the various offers and finalize my decision.

NZ: What made you decide to commit to Clarkson? What went into that decision for you and your family to know it was the right place?

IL: After multiple visits to Clarkson, meeting the coaching staff and taking in a Friday night game, I knew it was the team I wanted to play for – and the school I wanted to attend.  My minor midget team played an exhibition game there at the start of the season and the coaches had also seen me play at the World Selects Tournament in Philadelphia the previous spring. They seemed confident that I would be a great addition to their program. The Golden Knights have had a solid track record over the years and have a great group of coaches at present, led by Coach [Casey] Jones. The atmosphere at Cheel Arena is amazing, and as a bonus the campus is a little over a two-hour drive from my hometown in Belleville, so my family can easily come watch me play if they are really bored on a Friday night. Academically it’s a great fit for me as well, as I am interested in studying science, business or engineering. My family was very supportive of my decision and helped with the whole process.

NZ: What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen while playing hockey?

IL: My dad coached me when I was younger and now he coaches my younger brother’s minor peewee team. I was recently watching one of their games where the other team’s bench cleared at the end (they had lost) and jumped the five players from his team. It was pretty entertaining to watch and fortunately no one got hurt, but somehow he ended up with a suspension.

NZ: What’s the best piece of advice anyone’s given you in hockey?

IL: To play out of my comfort zone every game.

NZ: What are your biggest on-ice skills?

IL: I believe the most positive aspect of my game is that I’m a well-rounded player and great teammate. I feel I am a good skater and see the ice well so I’m able to make positive plays in all zones. I like to be physical when necessary and really enjoy playing along the wall – especially when it turns into a great scoring chance! I am considered a two-way centreman who supports well in the defensive zone but can quickly generate offence.

NZ: What aspect of your game are you working on improving the most?

IL: I am working on my foot speed and acceleration. Time and space gets less the higher the level of hockey you play, so being able to create separation for yourself is very important. Like any player, I’d also like to score more, so I’m working on my skills around the net. I want to be an impact player.

NZ: What’s the toughest challenge you’ve faced in hockey?

IL: I’m pretty young so I haven’t had much room for tough challenges in hockey, but one of the big things that I have been working on over the past couple years is my mindset while playing the game. I think it’s important to stay positive when things don’t go the way I want them to on the ice and not get frustrated over the little things and stay focused on the next shift, not the previous one. It can be difficult for athletes who really push themselves.

NZ: What’s the toughest challenge you’ve faced in life?

IL: Thankfully, to this point, I have not had to face any significant life challenges. I consider myself very fortunate to have a supportive family and group of friends, to go to a great school and to have the opportunity to continue to play a sport I enjoy.


Photo Credit: Nelson Carreiro/AC Studios Co