The road to playing NCAA hockey is a long one. It usually begins at five. Meaning it begins at five years old, and many times five in the morning. Long hours, and lots of coffee for parents.
It begins simply as playing a game. It is extremely rare for anyone to pick up the sport with the thought that they are going to make it their life’s work. Some parents may push young players to the sport with a purpose, but for hockey players it is different.
Carson Knop began his journey almost exactly fifteen years ago. Now twenty years old and playing in the North American Hockey League, he has traveled from Chicago to New Jersey to Connecticut and now to Wilkes – Barre Pennsylvania.
The big boddied player had been searching for that one place that would be the final stop in his junior hockey career. Though Carson has seen his share of injury this season, Wilkes-Barre looks to be that final stop on the junior hockey part of his journey.
Twenty three points in thirty six games, and an appearance at the NAHL Top Prospects tournament are two of the high lights of the season.
Though he was offered to be moved to a team at the trade deadline where he could have potentially had more scoring opportunity, he declined the offer. Loyalty to the Coaching staff who believe in him, and his team mates were more important than taking a chance on the unknown.
There’s a lot to be said about a young man that has those traits of loyalty, respect, and dedication. More can be said about a young man who maintains those qualities when on a team that has its challenges.
Carson Knop will be closing out this 2015-2016 season in the only way he knows how. Working hard, crashing the net, and focusing on the little things to get better every day. What NCAA program wouldn’t want a big power forward that has those attributes?
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher