Paul Cotter Leaves NCAA to Start OHL Career

Paul Cotter has signed with the London Knights of the OHL. This is not the first time NZ has talked with him, Paul committed to Western Michigan University as a 2019 recruit. He started off this season on the Broncos’ roster, playing 8 games before signing with the Knights of London, ON.

He tells us about his collegiate experience, “Western Michigan had many positives. I matured fast, considering I was the second youngest on the team. Andy Murray demanded us to be very mature and mentally focused, very structural. The guys were all great, which was the hardest reason to leave, I had a bond with many of them, all great guys that are always going to be family.”

Pauls tells us about the decision process with his family and agent, “It was a long process and a lot of talking, we made the decision to head to London together.” Continuing, “I really enjoyed my time at Western Michigan, [but] London is such a prestigious organization and showed early on I would have a big role. The switch was a very positive transition.”

Telling us about the differences between NCAA and CHL hockey that he factored into his decision, “A big difference is the [CHL] game is younger and a lot more skill is being used. I am an older guy in the OHL, especially on London. I can use that as an advantage with my size and experience compared to some of the younger opponents.”

Paul played most of his junior and now college career in the Midwest, we asked how he felt about moving to a new location and country. “In the NAHL, I was in Brookings, South Dakota. [A] smaller town, which was cool to get to know most of the community. USHL gave me a chance to go to Lincoln, Nebraska. The Capital was a great city and was always buzzing, which was cool to see. Kalamazoo, MI was a [interesting] city as well. [But] London is such a unique place to be, and gives me a chance to see an awesome city. It’s not too far from home [in] Canton, MI, which is pretty cool as well!”

Looking forward to the opportunity ahead of him, “I am extremely excited to start with London right away. My goal is to make an immediate impact. I will have a large role and expect to live up to all the expectations. I will bring a lot of leadership to this team having been in a lot of different situations and places. With being an older guy, brings the ability to have a big leadership role along with my other roles. [Also] I’ll be sure to mess with Popov a little for taking my number! He must have good taste!”

NCAA requires you to be a student athlete, we asked Paul how education played into his transition to the OHL, “For me, my hockey career is my biggest priority. I want to go to the NHL. However I am able to get there while being developed properly is where I’m going to be. School is important, especially in the Cotter family. The initial expectation is I will continue to have a role in school even if it’s a few classes while in London.”

Since speaking with Paul, he has made his OHL debut with London. Playing in 3 games with 2 points; 1 goal and 1 assist.


Photo credit: Hickling Images