Boulder native Young makes plans for long-term future, commits to NCAA Division I Harvard
Grant Young is just 16, but he already has plans in place to excel, both on and off the ice.
Earlier this month, the Boulder native committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Harvard University (ECAC Hockey). He said he’s unsure when he will start as a freshman, but ideally it will be in the fall of 2024.
“I had talked to Harvard some during the 2021-22 season as well as during the summer a bit but nothing serious,” said Young, who was born in Westminster. “During the beginning of the season this year, we (Long Island Gulls’ 16U AAA) had a couple games in Massachusetts and (Harvard assistant) coach (James) Marcou wanted to take me out one of the days and do a visit since I was there already. After the first couple games, I went and visited. They then came to a couple more tournaments out in Boston and eventually said that they were going to offer me. It was just up to me on what I wanted to do at that point.”
Besides the hockey aspect of the school, Young was immensely sold on the academic aspect of Harvard.
“Harvard is probably the best academic school in America, so there was no question there,” Young said. “Academics has always been sort of a no-brainer for me because for me I have always strived to get good grades and learn the best I can in school.
“In terms of their hockey program, I talked to my coach Vinny Smith a lot and he made lots of points to open me up to how good the hockey program is and has been. He has already coached players that played there or are currently playing for Harvard, one being Adam Fox of the New York Rangers.”
In looking back, Young remembers how his time on skates first started.
“When I was about two or three years old, my parents would take us to the outdoor rink near our house in Boulder,” said Young. “We would go out for about an hour or two each day, me and my sister Ava who still figure skates today at Miami of Ohio. From there, we started going to the YMCA over in Westminster and doing a recreational league. I most definitely watched the Avalanche play as much as I could despite them not being very good.
“And the rest is history, I guess.”
Once he started playing at a serious level, Young joined the Colorado Evolution.
“I had a teammate named Trey Dionne, who is one of my good friends,” Young said. “His dad Allen was the assistant coach. The team was in Denver so my parents would take me out there and I would stay with him at his house, and I would train with them. Allen had done many skates with me and Trey doing skills and conditioning and whatnot, which I would say is a massive reason why I was able to do what I do. Him and his family were great to me. Trey and I would stay at the rink all day during the weekend and after school during the week, we would play around at the rink and have fun.
“The Evolution folded so we ended up going to the Colorado Thunderbirds. I played for Dave Fromm and Justin Waldron, who just tragically passed away. He will be missed. They helped me tremendously with my mental aspect of the game and seeing the game in a different way. My last year there, I played for Phil Patenaude, who also helped me tremendously with my mentality and leadership. He helped me get ready and mature more for the next level.”
Since then, Young has ventured to Chicago to play for the Windy City Storm and this year in New York.
Moving forward, Young said he prefers to focus on the present and not get too far ahead of himself.
“I hope to play in Youngstown next year for the Phantoms in the USHL (Youngstown drafted Young in Phase I of the 2022 USHL Draft),” said Young. “The coach Ryan Ward has been great to me at my time at Windy City and so I greatly look forward to playing there for him. After that, Harvard is where I’m planning on going to school. I’m very excited to hopefully be a part of such an amazing program and school.
“Long term, I hope to get drafted into the NHL next year (2024) and then play in the NHL and ultimately be a hall of fame player. Final words I will say is that hockey and, frankly, anything is all about the process and every day going to work and being consistently disciplined and to attack, learn and adapt to achieve your goals.”
Photos provided by Grant Young
— Matt Mackinder
(October 14, 2022)