Since falling in love with hockey at age 6, Logan Davis largely has dedicated the last 12 years to pursuing a career in the sport.
Instead of attending college, the Upper Arlington High School senior and 5-foot-11 goaltender planned to play junior hockey the next few years in the hopes of being drafted by an NHL team. However, those plans changed last month after Ohio State underwent a coaching change and he signed a letter of intent May 11 to play for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State will be losing first-team All-American goalie Brady Hjelle to graduation and Mark Osiecki was fired as head coach on April 15. Former assistant coach Steve Rohlik was named Osiecki's successor April 24.
"It was kind of a last-minute thing," said Davis, who played the past two seasons for the U18 AAA Ohio Blue Jackets Midget Major team.
"(The Buckeyes) were in a bind. A goalkeeper left and, late in the season, one of their coaches talked to my coach (Ed Gingher) about some prospective candidates.
"I do my best to be a good student, I'm local and I love the Buckeyes. It's a perfect match."
Anticipating that he would not be attending college for a few years, Davis took classes in UA's International Baccalaureate Program, giving him a year's worth of college credits.
Davis' commitment to the Buckeyes was the latest step in a saga that began in November 2000, when he attended an NHL game between the Blue Jackets and Dallas Stars. He took to the game immediately, and his parents -- Tama and Mike, a longtime meteorologist at WBNS-TV -- got him enrolled in junior hockey programs and arranged private lessons with former professional goalie Jeff Salajko.
"Logan was never a big kid, always on the smaller side until a few years ago, but he bought into what we talked about," said Salajko, who was selected by San Jose in the 10th round of the 1993 NHL draft, played three seasons with the now-defunct Columbus Chill and currently serves as goalie coach for the Ohio State women's team. "He's always been very efficient. He has excellent reflexes and really good hand-eye coordination. He tracks the puck well."
Davis, who plans to major in neuroscience pre-medicine at Ohio State, said he chose junior hockey over playing for his high school team mostly because of exposure.
"Being from Ohio, there is so much more exposure being on a travel team," he said.
"College scouts, junior scouts and even pro scouts come out. It's a longer schedule with more games, so you'll have more chances to be seen. I've played in Boston twice, I've gone to Minnesota and went to Los Angeles a few years ago. My goal has always been to play in Division I, and you've got to work very hard for that to happen."
The likelihood of being low on the Buckeyes' depth chart to start his freshman season doesn't deter Davis, who would've had to have left the area to play junior hockey. U18 teammate Kiefer Sherwood, a Miami University recruit, is expected to play for the Youngstown Phantoms, a Tier I Junior A team in the United States Hockey League.
"That's the closest high-caliber team," Davis said. "There are a lot of teams down south, out west and on the East Coast, too. I wouldn't have been too close to home for a while. But that's the beauty of this now. It's worked out really well."