Former Brock hockey player makes an unlikely journey to NHL all-star 

Photo by: Brenden Cowan

Logan Thompson had been playing hockey since before he can remember. Growing up in Calgary he played for the Calgary Bisons and Calgary Buffaloes, triple-A teams in the AMHL. 

In his WHL draft-eligible year he was selected 112th overall by the Brandon Wheat Kings. In his first year with Brandon, he played four games before being sent to the AJHL (Alberta Junior Hockey League) where he played 22 games for the Grand Prairie Storm and posted a .906 save percentage and 3.39 goals against average. Serviceable numbers in a high-scoring junior league. 

The next season, Thompson made the Wheat Kings as their backup goaltender. That season was the first he was eligible for the NHL, so being the backup did not help him in terms of his stock in the NHL draft. He played 23 games with a 2.63 GAA and a .898 save percentage, which would not be good enough to warrant a call from an NHL team. 

The next two seasons (2016-17 and 2017-18) Thompson was the Wheat King’s starter. In 2017-18 Thompson had nearly thirty wins on a team that finished second in the WHL and had a record of 40-6. Unfortunately for Thompson, he did not see a future for himself in pro hockey, and neither did pro teams, so he decided to pursue a degree in sport management at Brock University. 

2018 marked the first year and only year that Thompson attended Brock. He played on the Brock men’s hockey team in 2018-19 and helped lead them to a 19-9 record which finished top of their division in the OUA and was a team record in wins for Brock men’s hockey team. Thompson also won OUA rookie of the year, goalie of the year and was named a first-team all-star. 

After his season with Brock, he was approached by ECHL club Adirondack Thunder – New Jersey Devils ECHL affiliate – to come to finish the season with them. Thompson spoke on how surprised he was about the offer from a pro hockey club, in an NHL Press Conference leading up to All-Star Weekend “Pro hockey wasn’t even on my mind, I was just a kid having fun. I had school on Monday and Tuesday. I would go home and play video games, drink beer and just be a college student.” 

After a discussion with his family and some close friends, Thompson decided to go play out the season in Adirondack. He explained why he made the decision to ditch the degree in an interview done with Jesse Granger of the Athletic, “you have to believe in yourself and bet on yourself. The biggest thing for me was if I didn’t make it, I wanted to at least say I tried. I didn’t want to have any regrets.”

In eight games in the ECHL, he had a 2-4-1 record with a 2.72 GAA and a .918 save percentage. He also managed to get a one-game stint in the AHL with the Birmingham devils that season. 

The following season, Thompson remained in the ECHL, this time playing for the South Carolina Stingrays. There, he proved to himself and everyone else that he was indeed a pro hockey player leading the team to the best record in the league, 44-14-3 before the pandemic shut down the season. 

His excellent performance in South Carolina led to his first NHL contract offer. The Vegas Golden Knights signed Logan to a two-year entry level contract with an 800,000 AAV. Logan spent the majority of the first year in the AHL where he led the league in save percentage, GAA, as well as advanced goalie stats (goals saved above expected, saves per 60 minutes and saves made in high-danger scoring chances). However, he was called up to back up Robin Lehner after Marc Andre Fleury went down with an injury. Thompson ended up playing eight minutes and 15 seconds in the NHL in a win over the Minnesota Wild. He made two saves on two shots and was registered for the win, his first in the NHL. 

In 2021-22 Thompson became a regular backup towards the end of the season and took over the starting role once Lehner went down with an injury. He played 19 regular season games netting a 10-5-3 record. The performance to end the year earned Thompson another NHL contract, this time a three-year, one-way deal, worth 766,667 per year as he was projected to be the backup. 

But a nagging injury required Robin Lehner to get surgery before the season started leaving Thompson the front-runner for the starting job in Vegas. He seized the opportunity and gained the full trust of his teammates, coaches and front-office staff. 

Thompson played incredibly to start the year and earned the rookie of the month in November with a record of 8-2 with a .909 save percentage and a 2.88 GAA. That incredible goaltending continued down the stretch as Thomspon was eventually named to the NHL all-star game on Jan. 5, the first rookie goalie in NHL history to be named an all-star. 

The all-star game took place on Feb. 3 and 4 where Thompson participated in the goalie tandem challenge and played half of the game between the Pacific division all-stars and the central division all-stars, which he lost. 

Thompson, though new to the NHL, seems to have found a home in the league for years to come despite his unconventional path to the show. 

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