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Langlois seeing valuable ice in AHL, eyes focused on NHL

 

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Jeremy Langlois said it’s always been his dream to play in the NHL ever since his youth days of yesteryear with the Phoenix Polar Bears organization.

Now playing a consistent role with the American Hockey League’s (AHL) San Jose Barracuda, the top affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, the 25-year-old Tempe native is healthy and playing a vital role this season after missing the end of the 2014-15 season with the AHL’s Worcester Sharks with a broken foot.

Langlois played in Worcester on a minor-league contract before signing a one-year NHL contract this past summer with the Sharks. He posted 16 goals and 26 points in 42 games a season ago.

“It feels good to be back on the ice feeling 100 percent,” Langlois said. “I was able to do well last year and the organization saw things that they liked. I was so surprised when I found out they offered me an NHL contract. It’s something that you dream about happening and I was so happy to be given the opportunity.”

After Langlois graduated from NCAA Division I Quinnipiac University (ECAC) in 2013, he bounced around the ECHL (Evansville IceMen, Stockton Thunder) and AHL (Springfield Falcons, Bridgeport Sound Tigers) during the 2013-14 season and then wound up in Worcester for all of last season.

According to Langlois, playing on a one-year deal means he has something to prove to the Sharks.

“On a one-year contract, you have to prove that you have something that the organization is looking for,” explained Langlois. “It’s a lot about finding your role and how you can help the team win. The NHL is my ultimate goal. It takes a lot of hard work and sacrifices to make it to this point and it feels great to be so close to my dream. I think of the family members that supported me throughout my journey. It’s because of them that I’ve been able to reach the points that I have.”

Going to his first NHL training camp this season was also an eye-opening experience for Langlois, who called it “an experience I’ll always remember.”

“There’s been a lot of special moments so far in my career,” said Langlois. “You’re so focused on what you’re doing that you can often overlook how cool it really is. Training camp was the first time that you’re truly competing with the players you grew up watching.”

As a Polar Bear from Squirts all the way through Junior A, Langlois said coaches Harry Mahood and Tyler Ramsey were major influences on his career and believed in him from an early age.

“It’s pretty cool to have such strong ties to one organization,” Langlois said. “I had chances to go other places, but I always felt at home there. I had a lot of great coaches that helped me along the way. I know growing up in the Polar Bear organization, I always looked up guys on the junior team. When I got older, I saw guys like Dave Spina that had gone on to higher levels like college hockey and I wanted to be able to do that, too. The Phoenix Coyotes players were a big inspiration and I always tried to be like Jeremy Roenick.”

Langlois also said that his time at QU helped him learn the little things it takes to succeed in the game. He’s hoping to use that knowledge to win an AHL Calder Cup title next spring.

“As a team, we want to win a championship,” said Langlois. “Last year, we made the playoffs, but we didn’t play up to our expectations once we got there. I’m going to do whatever I can to help the team win. I’m confident in the group of guys we have and I look forward to the rest of the season.”

Photo/San Jose Barracuda

— Matt Mackinder