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Ohio defenseman Sam Turner (27) poses for a portrait at Bird Arena. 

Hockey: Sam Turner's journey after being cut before high school

Sam Turner has a massive chip on his shoulder.

"Everyone looks at where I played instead of how I can play," Turner said. "It was a good thing for me. It taught me a lot of self-confidence. When I get scratched, I'm not too worried about it because I know what I can do."

Turner started his hockey career with the AAA Blue Jackets. In his 25 games with the team, he had just five points. The defenseman was eventually cut from the team and returned to his high school team, Olentangy Liberty.

Ohio high school hockey doesn’t have the best reputation for producing great players, however, Turner wasn’t worried about his development slowing.

That reason?

Because during the club season he played for the Columbus Chill Hockey Club.

"I had a really good club team that I was playing for, so I didn't feel that it was hurting my development too much," he said.

Even with the reputation that Ohio holds, Turner did his best to make his mark. During his high school career, Turner excelled on the ice and was on the varsity team all four years.

His senior season he was the team captain and earned First-Team All-State awards. Turner was even named This Week Sports Player of the Year. When he left Olentangy Liberty, he held every possible record that defensemen could have.

After his successful prep career, Turner made his way to New Hampshire. and played for the Jr. Monarchs. His coaches for the Chill were connected with the Jr. Monarchs and that connectivity helped Turner land a spot on the roster.

The only season he had in New Hampshire started by being a consistent healthy scratch.  Eventually, he proved himself throughout practice and cracked the game day line up in 37 of 46 games in the regular season.

Where Turner truly shined was when the Jr. Monarchs made it to the postseason. He started in all nine of their games. He scored six points in the postseason, the exact amount that he scored in the regular season.

"I just kept working my way up," Turner said. "I was showing the coach I had what it took. Eventually, he started putting me on the power-play and letting me play with the first line."

Even though he was cut by the AAA Blue Jackets, he didn’t let them stop him from pursuing more hockey. Eventually he found himself on a team that’s filled with guys from the AAA Blue Jackets.

But more importantly, he hasn’t let his naysayers get to him and he still carries that chip with him.


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