Some players will do whatever it takes to reach their full potential.
These type of players take nothing for granted and are willing to confront any obstacle in their way in order to get an opportunity to showcase their ability.
It’s not selfishness, it’s survival.
Players that find themselves on the cusp or bubble are always searching for their niche, searching to earn the trust of their coaches and proving their true value.
That’s what makes Owen Cole journey so special.
The honest two-way forward originally from Ottawa, Ontario has been doing whatever it takes to play the game he loves at the highest level possible since lacing them up.
Cole has found a home with the Amherst Ramblers of the Maritime Hockey League, but he’s still pushing himself to get better and see how far he can go in the game.
Owen Cole is willing to do whatever it takes to get there.
Owen Cole grew up like many other young hockey crazed Canadians living in NHL cities, idolizing the hometown team and dreaming of playing the game at the highest level.
Hockey was a way of life in the Cole household and the Senators were the talk of the town.
“Growing up in Ottawa I was an Daniel Alfredsson and Chris Neil fan, I loved their leadership and work ethic,” Cole said proudly.
There’s no question Neil and Alfredsson were the heart and soul for the Ottawa Senators.
Cole brings the same focus and enthusiasm has his hockey heroes when he steps on the ice.
You don’t have to watch the speedy forward for too long to realize how passionate he is about the game.
Passion and an unwavering sense of team describes Alfie and Neil to a tee, but it also describes what Cole brings to the table as well.
Inspiration can be found in many different avenues within the game.
The support of family and mentorship from various coaches isn’t lost on the 17 year old forward.
“My parents are amazing,” said a reflective Cole.
“They have always supported me whether it was teaching me how to skate or shuttling me between rinks.”
“We’ve missed some family gatherings and made things fit so I could get in an extra practice or games,” admitted Cole.
The sacrifices made for the game of hockey doesn’t end there.
All of those sacrifices fuel the journey and make it special when the shared goals are finally achieved.
You see hockey dreams are shared amongst family.
“My earliest memories of playing hockey come from having huge wipe outs learning how to skate with my mom and dad,” Cole said proudly.
A lot has happened since those earlier experiences in the game, but rest assured Owen Cole learned the value of hard work from a very young age.
Cole will never forget those early life lessons he learned from his parents or coaches.
“Growing up I’ve had a lot of very influential coaches.”
“The ones that I like the most now are the ones that I really didn’t like in the moment,” confessed Cole.
“They give me character and motivation.”
“The best coach I’ve had is my dad.”
“He has always coached me from a young age and still does.”
“He taught me great lessons such as focusing on doing your best,” Cole said.
“It wasn’t about being the best player, it was about how hard work and perseverance will take me further then natural talent.”
“I’m very grateful for that,” Cole said.
First Impressions are Everything
It’s extremely difficult when your the new kid on the block because of so many unknowns.
Cole experienced that first hand when he and his family first moved to New Brunswick.
First impressions are everything.
Nevertheless, it didn’t take long for the skilled hard working gritty forward to find a home at Harrison Trimble High School.
“My family moved to Moncton in February 2017.”
“I was really fortunate that I had the opportunity to play with Harrison Trimble High School. I’ll never forget that my first day of school was also the first game I played.”
“Being able to make fast friends through hockey was great,” Cole said.
“The following year Brian Hulbert led us to a provincial victory which was the most enjoyable hockey of my career. That year I was thrilled to be presented with the most improved player on the team.”
In 2019, Cole started the year with Harrison Trimble after being released from the Moncton Midget AAA Flyers.
Cole would eventually rejoin the Flyers that December.
“I took a lot from my experience as a Flyer,” Cole said.
“I continued to work on my game and being a consistent and reliable player.”
Cole’s talents and style of the play didn’t immediately catch the attention of QMJHL scouts or Maritime Jr A scouts.
The kid from Ottawa went undrafted.
Cole has dealt with adversity throughout his career.
Through it all he persevered and took advantage of any opportunity that came his way.
“I wasn’t drafted by the MHL or the QJMHL, but I did get an invite to the Halifax Mooseheads and to the Amherst Ramblers tryouts as a free agent,” Cole said.
I guess the rest is history.
“Making the jump between any level isn’t easy,” Cole said.
“I had to work very hard and be resilient.”
Owen Cole made the Ramblers out of camp this season and suited up for 52 games scoring twice and adding six helpers.
It’s not about stats or numbers, it’s about the intangibles that Owen Cole brings to the ice and dressing room that matters most.
From HTHS, to the Flyers, to the Junior A ranks, Owen Cole continues to prove that anything is possible in the game if you are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish your dreams and aspirations.
“My season went well,” admitted Cole.
“I slowly started to gain ice time and trust from the coach as the season went on.”
“I have been working on gaining weight and getting stronger to compete better as well as developing my hands and scoring touch,” said the two-way forward.
Cole is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win and continue to improve and see how far he can go in the game.
“I’d love to be a top player in the MHL one day.”
“I am committed to working hard and growing.”
“Of course I would also love to play in the QMJHL or play at the University level.”
“I love the game and I want to play as long as I can at the competitive level.”
What about the QMJHL is that the ultimate dream or goal?
“I think playing in the Q would be a great opportunity.”
“I’m working hard to get to that level, but I enjoy playing in Amherst and it’s a great spot to develop,” Cole said proudly.
For Cole it’s all about taking one step at a time and doing all the little things it takes to be an effective player while reaching his full potential.
“Since the season ended I’ve been working on gaining some weight and working on my hands and shot to produce more offensively.”
Cole made a point to join Derek Cormier and Rick Leger’s Pro Evolution Training Program this summer to further enhance every aspect of his game on and off the ice.
“This year is my first year in Rick and Derek’s program. I have really enjoyed the intensity and the great environment.”
“I’m a very competitive person so being around other strong athletes helps me push myself.”
“The high skill level on ice helps me elevate my game to be able to compete with such great players,” Cole said.
Owen Cole’s character and work ethic far exceeds that of most players his age.
Cole is currently working two jobs and still finds time to train full time as well.
“I’m very grateful to Rally Motors and Acadia Construction, they have been amazing to me and very accommodating to my intense hockey schedule.”
“I try to work 30 hours a week in between off-ice and on my on-Ice sessions,” explained Cole.
“I’m heading to Mount Allison University so I’m keen to make and save as much money as I can.”
Owen Cole’s blue collar mentality and unrelenting drive and determination has him on an fantastic trajectory within the game and life.
Honest players like Owen Cole don’t always get the recognition they deserve for the role they play on their a team.
You can win games, but you will win the games that matter most with players like Owen Cole on your team.
What advice would Cole give to any other young players that might not be appreciated for the role they play on a team?
“If I were to give any advice to someone that’s not where they want to be on a team, on the fourth line, is that I try to create small goals for myself like trying to better your game, climbing the lineup and working so hard that Coach thinks you deserve to be on the ice,” explained Cole.
“Don’t get down on yourself and use the fact that you’re not seen as good enough as motivation,” Cole said.
Motivation, inspiration and an unwavering desire to improve,
Owen Cole is prepared to do whatever it takes to see how far he can go in the game he loves.