White House resident Logan Primm is going to stand out on the Bradford Rattlers’ roster.
The Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League (GMHL) team is mostly comprised of players from Canada, Finland, Russia, Sweden and other European countries. A handful of Americans round out the roster.
After an impromptu tryout and contract offer from the Rattlers, Primm recently said goodbye to his family and friends in Middle Tennessee to play for Bradford this season. The 17-year-old is thrilled to be living out his hockey dream.
“I like to keep my cool,” he said. “I don’t really freak out about things. It was pretty fun (to get the offer from Bradford). I hung up the phone was like, ‘Wow, I’m playing junior hockey at (age) 17.’”
Primm played goalie for the Tennessee Outlaws in the Greater Nashville Area Scholastic Hockey league (GNASH) last season, but he wanted to take his game to the next level. The Outlaws are made up of players from area high schools that don’t have hockey teams.
Primm attended White House Heritage his freshman and sophomore years but switched to online school last year to focus more time on hockey.
“I liked the Outlaws, but I wanted to take a step up,” Primm said. “I got in contact with (former Outlaws teammate) John Goodson, who is playing in Quebec. I asked him about good leagues, and he said I could fit in the GMHL.”
That led Primm to work the phones. Players looking to earn college scholarships or professional contracts often play in the junior hockey ranks first.
The 6-foot-3 Primm didn’t have any film to send teams, so he tried contacting various GMHL teams in the Toronto area. Bradford happened to be hosting a pro prospect camp in early June, and they needed another goalie to participate.
Primm quickly found his passport and booked a flight to Toronto. This was his chance to show what he could do. He arrived in Bradford (located 40 miles northwest of Toronto) and immediately hit the ice.
“It was a little rough at first, just trying to get used to the ice,” he said. “I was working extra hard, because a lot of these guys already played college hockey. There were some hard shots. But I could keep up with them.”
Knowing he needed to get up to speed against the older players, Primm showed up to the rink early. He took the ice 20 minutes before everyone else to fine-tune his skating. The Bradford coaches took notice.
“It shows how bad you want it, and I really respect that,” a coach told Primm. “I know you are behind these other guys, but you are putting in the extra work.”
The camp wrapped up a few days later, and Primm packed his belongings and prepared to head back to Tennessee. He thought he had a nice showing, but he was expecting to have to find more tryouts.
“I felt accomplished,” Primm said. “I had learned a lot and put some good hours in. I wasn’t expecting to get an offer from the team.”
Just as Primm was starting to think about his next step, he received a call from Bradford general manager Sean Werth, who was impressed by his performance at the prospect camp.
“He said, ‘Would you like to come play for the Bradford Rattlers?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, of course,’ Primm said.
Primm was shocked. He quickly called his parents to tell them the news. The plane ride home was a happy one.
It was also a win for players from Tennessee, a non-traditional hockey market. Primm said he hopes to continue to defy the odds and eventually play professional hockey.
“We are seeing a lot more (Tennessee) players leave to play juniors,” he said. “You have all these major (hockey) teams around you (in Canada). Your next step could be there. You never know who is watching your games.”
Primm’s chances are helped by the fact that he is a goalie. Not everyone is willing to play a position that requires the laser focus and physical toughness that goaltenders must possess to be successful.
“I just like the challenge,” he said. “It’s unique since there are only two or three of them per team. I like being the different guy on the ice.
“If you’re scared of that puck and you’re in front of the net, you’re not going to be a good goalie. You can work on your reflexes and all that, but if you’re scared of that piece of rubber coming at you at 70-80 mph, you’re not going to do well.”
Primm reported to Bradford on Aug. 20 and is living with a host family while he completes his senior year of high school online. He will get two weeks off at Christmas before returning to Canada for another three months. The team’s season runs from September to March.
That would be daunting situation for most high school seniors, but the level-headed Primm said he plans to keep his cool. After all, that’s what he is used to doing in the net.
“I know it’s going to be hard on my parents, my family and my friends,” Primm said. “But I’ll be back. I’m a little nervous about it, but I’ve just got to keep my cool. That’s what you have to do to win."