LSSU has plans for Owen Headrick
June 6, 2015
He has been a star defencemen during two seasons with the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
And now, it appears he is ready to move up to the Lake Superior State University Lakers of the Division 1, Western Collegiate Hockey Association effective the 2015-2016 campaign.
Owen Headrick, who will turn 18-years of age in August, has virtually been deemed ready to advance to the collegiate level by Lakers head coach Damon Whitten despite having three full seasons of junior hockey eligibility remaining.
“It’s pretty certain he will be coming in (for the 2015-2016 season),” Whitten told HockeyNewsNorth.com. “There is only a small chance he plays another year of junior hockey.”
It speaks volumes of Headrick’s ability that he is being projected by Whitten to join the Lakers at such a young age given that it is normal for Division 1 schools to not move players up until they have used all of their junior eligibility.
And while the Lakers have nine defencemen who can return in 2015-2016, their better blueliners are only sophomores, including Aidan Wright, who played his minor hockey in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Now 22-years old, Wright logged major minutes for the Lakers as a freshman defenceman in 2014-2015.
A native of Garden River First Nation, the 6-foot, 205 pound, right-handed shooting Headrick is coming off a 2014-2015 season in which he was a standout for the NOJHL champion Thunderbirds.
After having shoulder surgery last fall, Headrick played in 13 regular-season games and had 4 goals, 9 assists, 13 points. Then, as he regained full strength in the playoffs, Headrick elevated his game to an even-higher level as he rifled 12 goals, 8 assists, 20 points in 14 games from his blueline position.
An Ontario Hockey League draft pick of the Erie Otters in 2013, Headrick eventually opted to accept a four-year, full-ride scholarship offer from LSSU instead of going the major junior route.
As he is poised to become a Laker, Headrick heads across the St. Mary’s River to play for Whitten, who is about to enter his second season as head coach of a major rebuild project at LSSU.
Under Whitten — who inherited a program in tatters — the Lakers made the WCHA playoffs in 2014-2015 with a record of 7-20-1 and lost in the first round.
Headrick comes from a close-knit family which includes his mom Anne, his dad Dave and four younger siblings who all play hockey.
PHOTO: Owen Headrick is poised to move up from the Soo Thunderbirds to the Lake Superior State University Lakers in 2015-2016. (Photo by Ali Pearson.)
What you think about “LSSU has plans for Owen Headrick”
By far the best defenceman in the NOJHL that I saw last year. His combination of size at 6’0″ and 200+ lbs, skill and smarts is what sets him apart from any other defender.
From what I could tell in games I’ve watched of his, he seems like a very mature and well grounded kid, plays well beyond his age. Although he may be better served playing one more full year of junior and dominating rather than going and playing at LSSU in a more limited role, after only playing in 13 regular season games last season and 14 more playoff games + DHC games.
Either way, Headrick is well on his way in his hockey career and I wish him the best.
I agree with Brad in assesment of young Headrick . . . a kid with all the tools to go along way.
Brad: And don’t forget the playoff Headrick at the RBC Cup. From a number of reports he was the T-Birds best player.
18 is too young to go to college. There’s more to it than just playing hockey.
He should play another year of junior and help the Soo for another run.
I’d like to see him play a year of juniors at a higher level, like the USHL or BCHL, to better prepare him for Division I hockey. No doubt he has the tools and will help LSSU, but playing in the USHL would give him an idea what to expect when it comes to the speed, skill, and size of players in D-I.