It always makes for good copy when a player gets to advance and develop close to home, and in this case, his home state. For defenseman Connor Overson (from West Richland, WA in the Tri Cities area) he’ll be playing his Junior A hockey two hours from home in Wenatchee for the 2021-22 season.
His mother played hockey as an adult and his father played basketball in high school. They had Connor on skates at the age of four and he’s taken to the game quite well. From the time he started playing, he knew the blue line was where he wanted to be. “I have always played defense”, he recalls. “My favorite part of the position is being the last person back and being back there and seeing the whole game in front of you.” He credits his stepdad Tyler Banning for coaching him through hockey at a young age and helping make him into the hockey player he is today.
Wenatchee Wild Head Coach Chris Clark: “Connor is a Washington kid that we have watched develop over the past several years. He’s a big kid that makes life difficult on the opposing team. He is a smart player who we are excited to help continue to develop over the next couple of years until he is ready to make the jump to NCAA Division I.”
Listing at 6’3” and 190 lbs., Overson is playing this season with the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders 16U AAA team in Superior, Colorado after playing last season with the Everett Jr. Silvertips. He’s a fan of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, but it’s San Jose defenseman Brent Burns who he looks to emulate in terms of playing style.
Wild GM Bliss Littler: “Connor has done a lot of work the last couple of years. Playing for the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders this year he has taken his game to a higher level. He’s a big kid that is a legit 6’3 that skates very well and has very good offensive instincts. We expect that Connor will be a very sought-after recruit for colleges soon.”
While Overson has his short-range plans locked down, he has a good idea of his direction. “My long-term goal is to play high level pro hockey”, adding, “I would like to study business in college. I would like to get into a trade when I’m done with my career.” On joining the Wild, he notes, “I am looking forward to playing high level hockey with great people around me. It is known that Wenatchee is a great place.”
Wenatchee Associate Head Coach Leigh Mendelson: “Connor is a young man we have seen often over the past few years in the Town Toyota Center as a Washington State player. He made a very good impression on our staff at our Tryout Camp in Las Vegas. Connor has imposing size and good mobility. His offensive game is starting to round into shape, and we look forward to helping him become a complete player here in Wenatchee. We are confident he will attract plenty of interest from NCAA Programs as the 2021-22 season approaches.”
His young career has seen him skate with Tri Cities, Spokane, Everett, and now the Rough Riders so he’s used to living away from home and has billeted the last 3 years. Showing his versatility, he plays hockey and high school lacrosse.