Arvada product, Colorado youth hockey alum Leivian aiming to fine-tune game with NA3HL’s Sea Captains
Chase Leivian knew he’d eventually leave home to pursue hockey, and that time was the 2023-24 season.
Leivian, who played all his youth hockey in Colorado, made the jump to junior hockey this season with the NA3HL’s Norwich Sea Captains, a team in Norwich, Conn.
“The opportunity for me to sign with Norwich arose through a relationship I built with head coach Kevin Cunningham over the last few years,” explained Leivian, an Arvada native. “We met through the USJDP hockey camp in Denver during the summer of 2020. We had conversations periodically about the potential fit for me in Norwich. What appealed to me about the Norwich Sea Captains was their commitment to development, every practice, workout, team event, or game’s high energy, intensity, and competition. It is extremely important to me that I continue to improve through my path to college hockey and I felt Norwich would be a fantastic place to push myself. I also felt that I would get incredible coaching and have an exceptional group of teammates.
“The appeal of the NA3 was the versatility of the league. It is a place for players to develop in order to advance within the junior hockey ranks, or advance to college hockey. Both are respective goals I have during my time in junior hockey.”
Norwich also has a trio of other Colorado-born players on the roster in Sam Adams (Longmont), Jameson Bain (Longmont), and Mitchell Goodman (Erie).
“I did not know any of the other guys on the team at the time I tendered,” Leivian said. “It is ironic because there are three other players from Colorado, but I just never crossed paths with any of them in my time as a youth player. Although it can be challenging, I have enjoyed getting to know a new group of guys from a variety of backgrounds. It is cool to see how we can all come together and work for the same thing coming from all different places.
“This season, I hope to grow as a hockey player to give myself the opportunity to compete at the next level of junior hockey. I want to play in as many games as I possibly can and push myself to new limits every day. I also hope to grow as a person, being challenged far away from home for the first time.”
Back home, like many, Leivian got started playing hockey by watching the Colorado Avalanche with his dad.
“As a kid, we would watch games together, and I was lucky enough to get to go with him to lots of games, too,” said Leivian. “The more hockey I watched, the more I fell in love with the game. I couldn’t wait to start playing. I told my parents from the moment I could walk that I wanted to play hockey. I am so grateful for the support my parents have given me from the start. Without them, there is no way any of this would be possible. By the time I was five, I was in skates and have been every moment since then.”
Leivian played for the Arvada Hockey Association from Mites through Pee Wees. He then spent his 14U A, 14U AA, and 16U AA seasons with the Boulder Hockey Club. Overlapping Leivian’s time at Boulder was his high school hockey career at Ralston Valley where he spent his freshman and sophomore years. Before his junior year of high school, Leivian had the opportunity to play 16U AAA for the Colorado Rampage before playing 18U AAA for the Colorado Thunderbirds during his senior year of high school. He wrapped his youth career with a second year at the Rampage, playing 18U AAA.
“I have been blessed in my hockey career to play for some fantastic coaches,” said Leivian. “First of all, I have to mention my skills coach, Lance Jaeger, who I have worked with for the entirety of my 14 years on skates. I wouldn’t be where I am, on or off the ice, without him. We put in countless hours of work to develop the fundamentals and skills that make me the player I am today. Another coach who has helped me immensely in my development is Mark Sample. I have learned so much about the game of hockey and grown as a young man during my relationship with him. My coaches from the Colorado Rampage have also been incredible influences during my two seasons there. I grew immensely as a player and became much more confident. Tyler Shipstad, Brett Clark, Pat Bingham, Andrew Sherman, and Justin Walters, among others, were all integral in my development.”
Moving forward, Leivian has his priorities in check.
“My short-term goals in hockey start this year where I want to be a valuable contributor to the Norwich Sea Captains,” Leivian said. “I hope to improve my game and thrive at the NA3 level. Looking into the future, I have the goal of advancing to the NAHL and then playing in the NCAA. The NCAA has been a long-term goal of mine as long as I have played hockey.
“School is incredibly important to me. I take a lot of pride in my academics. I hope that after my junior hockey career I can earn a four-year degree and put myself in a good position for my post-college hockey life.”
— Matt Mackinder
(October 12, 2023)