In Developing Story, a regular feature on collegehockeyinc.com, we highlight current college hockey players who have developed their skills during their careers – either on the ice or off – and in turn made a bigger impact on their team’s success.
Senior Jeremy Langlois has 54 goals in his college career and for the third straight season leads Quinnipiac in that department.
Given that talent for putting the puck in the net, you’d expect a coach to rave about his heavy shot, or willingness to go to the net. Yet every time Rand Pecknold is asked about Langlois, he starts at the other end of the rink.
“He’s got a great D game,” Pecknold told NHL Network Radio on Thursday. “He’s scoring for us, but if he doesn’t score at the pro level he’s going to be a great bottom-six forward. He competes hard, is a great defensive center and a good penalty killer, too.”
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Langlois has come by that defensive skill honestly, through hard work with Pecknold and assistant coach Bill Riga during practice and in extensive video sessions. The Arizona native - who you can watch Friday night on NBC Sports Network against Yale - cites defensive play as his biggest area of development in four years in Hamden.
The biggest difference
“I started to score more after my freshman year, but the biggest difference has been being relied on defensively,” he said. “I started killing more penalties and could be used in all situations.
“That all started with Coach Pecknold and Coach Riga. It’s a combination of video work – watching game tapes and seeing what you should be doing – and situational practice.”
Entering school as an undrafted player, Langlois wasn’t focused on an NHL career early on. As he has developed – and gotten attention from scouts, including an invite to Vancouver Canucks development camp – the prospect of playing pro hockey has become more real. That’s when the time spent on the defensive side seems even more valuable.
'You can't cost your team goals'
“When you do move on to the pro ranks, especially if you’re not a top-line guy, you can’t cost your team goals,” he said.
“The college game gives you the week to plan for the weekend and work on things like your defensive game,” he added. “Playing pro hockey, you won’t have that same opportunity.”
Before that pro career starts, Langlois and his teammates are focused on the opportunities that lie ahead of them – including the ECAC Tournament, where the Bobcats will be the top seed, and the NCAA Tournament.
In every key defensive moment in those important games that lie ahead, you can count on Pecknold turning to his top scorer, thanks to his development the last four years.