By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
Former member of the USA U17 National Team, Joe Lavin, 25, has come a long way since playing pond hockey in his hometown of Shrewsbury. The defenseman has had a wild journey so far in his young career. Drafted in the fifth round of the 2007 National Hockey League draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, Lavin originally committed to, and played for Providence College.
He ultimately transferred to the University of Notre Dame after two years. It was there that Joe was voted team captain in his senior season. He scored six goals and had 11 assists that season, to finish second among defensemen in team scoring. Lavin led the Irish to a Frozen Four birth, ultimately losing to eventual National Champions: Minnesota – Duluth.
“Going to Notre Dame was a blessing for me,” Lavin said. “It's a special place, and it was an honor to wear the “C” as a senior. Having the ability to represent the school, and all of those who came before us, is something my teammates and I cherished. We just wanted to continue the legacy.”
After completing his time at Notre Dame, Lavin signed a two-year contract with the Blackhawks, who designated him for an exclusive assignment with their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Rockford Ice Hogs.
After his two years with the franchise that originally drafted him, Lavin signed with the AHL's Springfield Falcons. While playing for Springfield's East Coast Hockey League affiliate, the Evansville Ice Men, Springfield traded him to the Providence Bruins. The New England boy had come full circle.
“Getting traded to the Bruins organization seemed too good to be true,” Lavin remembered. “I had some unfortunate injuries to deal with, but having the chance to play for hometown fans, as well as family and friends, is something I wasn's able to do since I was a sophomore at PC. Seeing the look on my younger cousins” faces when I visited after a game is something I'sl never forget. I remember looking up to professional hockey players when I was that age, just hoping to be out there some day.”
Lavin isn's sure what this upcoming season has in store for him yet, but that hasn's lessened his passion.
“There is more I want to accomplish, and it'sl be interesting to see where things go from here,” he said. “I's just going to continue to work hard and have fun. It is a game after all.”