Trevin Kozlowski: Proud to serve, happy to be playing pro hockey

Photo Credit:Army West Point Athletics

Army West Point graduate Trevin Kozlowski is happy to be where he is. He is a goalie with the Iowa Heartlanders who is being allowed to play pro hockey by a new program at West Point allowing exceptional athletes to continue their careers and defer their service obligation until their careers are done.

As Trevin said “Getting paid to play a game , can’t beat it.” On his experience in Iowa, “It’s going good, I’m learning a lot. I’m very fortunate to be around great coaching staffs.”

He’s learned how to be a pro on and off the ice from the teams he’s been on.

“It’s busy but it’s good” he said of the pace in the pro game so far.

On his recruitment to play with the Iowa Wild“ I had a pretty good year, I was fortunate enough to go on an ATO to the Iowa Wild , I spent a couple of weeks down there working with those guys, as things progressed we stayed in touch.” A week after graduating, surrounded by his Army West Point teammates he signed with the Iowa Wild for this season. The academy worked with him to play the ATO while meeting all of his academic and military obligations to graduate and commission with the rest of his class.

Trevin has gotten better at maintaining himself on the ice to play a full pro schedules. He praised the resources of the Minnesota Wild’s organization and what they make available to their minor league players, even ones not on NHL deals ( Trevin is on an AHL deal with the Iowa Wild and has played the bulk of his season in the ECHl with the Iowa Heartlanders, both affiliates of the Minnesota Wild). He said “We definitely have all the resources we need to be hockey players.”

“That definitely makes me a better hockey player as well.” He said of having the NHL level resources as a minor league player.

Of his time at West Point Trevin is nothing but appreciative, “West Point is such an awesome place.”

“I’m very appreciative for the support system I had there.” He singled out his professors for helping him share their experiences, especially those in the Army. That has helped him get more perspective on what is to come in the Army.

Of the current team, Trevin said of Gavin Abric’s rise into the national conversation for top goalies this year that, “I’m so happy for Gavin, it’s so cool to see him have the success he’s having this season, last year he didn’t play any games but I watched him in practice and said “man this guy’s a stud.’ I’m super happy for him.”

On the conference he played in , Atlantic Hockey he added that “it’s pretty unique because it’s one of the only conferences that have a lot of older guys where Atlantic is typically guys that have aged out in juniors.” The age difference prepared him for what he is seeing in the pro ranks. “I’ve kind of had the time to develop as a player and get a little bit bigger, stronger and faster.”

Trevin knows the importance of focusing on hard work as a goalie and offered some advice to goalies saying to focus on “being a good teammate and not being so concerned on playing or not, you’re time is going to come and when it does make the most of it.”

“I’m just so appreciative that every day I get to keep playing hockey.”

His favorite story of Brian Riley centered around the trust he earned with Riley off the ice over the years with meeting academic obligations. Trevin, like many outstanding leaders in the military (the late Senator John McCain graduated fifth from last in his class from the Naval Academy) knew how to get things done the right way in class even though they did not earn as many academic accolades as their peers. Hard work was the differentiator for him as it is for great leaders in the Army and in life. As he said “I wasn’t the smartest student but I worked hard.Riley would look to me to talk to the younger guys if they were struggling academically. It got to a point where it was second semester my junior year when Covid hit. I was on a zoom call with Riley, Riley asked him about finals. “Riley said at this point I’m locked in and you’ll figure it out.”

Army West Point Head Coach Brian Riley said said “Trevin has such a great personality, he always brings laughter to the room, he has such a great personality.” Of Trevin’s legacy he added that “The Legacy of Trev at Army was really simple, he was a team first,caring,loving guy, Trev as a player had an unbelievable season,would keep practice light, but when it was time to play games he was the best.”

Riley summed up Trevin’s future best in saying “These guys can do anything, whatever they set their mind to, Trevin will be successful at whatever he chooses to do.”

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