Colorado youth hockey, Dakota Ridge standout LaJeunesse taking next step with USPHL’s Cyclones
It’s onward and upward for Littleton native Sean LaJeunesse.
After four seasons playing for Dakota Ridge High School, LaJeunesse is making the move to junior hockey this season after signing with the USPHL’s Northern Cyclones during the offseason.
“We were in Chicago for a USPHL showcase and (Cyclones coach) Bill Weiand asked to speak with me and one other player after one of the last games,” LaJeunesse said. “He gave us his contact information and told us about his program. After getting home, my parents and I had a call with Coach Weiand about further details of the Northern Cyclones. It was far better than what I had originally anticipated and after short consideration, we signed.
“When I found out that the Cyclones own their own rink, a refurbished college campus, and dorm building that the players live in, that made it sound perfect. And although I love my family very much, I always knew I wanted to play on the East Coast.”
With Dakota Ridge, LaJeunesse was an alternate captain for two seasons and captain his senior year.
“I was honored to be named the captain for my senior season,” said LaJeunesse. “I think we saw the success on the scoresheet we wanted but weren’t able to make a playoff push. I was less successful with the Littleton Hawks in the CSDHL, not able to make the playoffs and losing at nationals, but playing on that team developed me as a hockey player and a human being more than I could have ever thought.
“The switch to the CSDHL definitely gave me a taste of playing with and against older and more experienced players. The three teams we played at nationals in Irvine, Calif., were the best hockey teams I’ve ever played against.”
Now in Hudson, N.H., with the Cyclones, LaJeunesse sees great things in his future.
“The main goal of taking the junior route is to develop as a player and hopefully create opportunities to commit to a college and possibly obtain a scholarship,” said LaJeunesse. “Hearing Coach Weiand tell us about the number of kids they send from their programs to college and some with scholarships was instantly appealing.”
During his youth hockey days, LaJeunesse started with the Hawks and later played for the Arvada Hockey Association and Foothills Hockey Association before Dakota Ridge and back to Littleton for his senior 18U season.
“A few of the most influential coaches I had over my career are Jason Gour, Brian TenEyck, John McKibbon, and Jeff Towle,” LaJeunesse said.
Moving forward, LaJeunesse sees hockey being a part of his daily routine.
“Graduating college has been a lifelong goal for me,” said LaJeunesse. “I fell in love with the sport of hockey, and I hope that I can make something out of the next couple years with the Cyclones. In the short run, I want to commit to a college. In the long run, I want to graduate college and still be involved with hockey and give back to the sport.”
— Matt Mackinder
(September 22, 2022)