St. Cloud Native Playing Pro Hockey Into His 30s
St. Cloud native Alex Koopmeiners is in his 8th season playing professional hockey. The 31-year old 2010 Cathedral graduate is currently playing in the ECHL with the New Foundland Growlers which is located in St. John's, New Foundland in Labrador, Canada.
After graduation at Cathedral in 2010, Koopmeiners went to play hockey at Concordia-Moorhead before transferring to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter where he graduated. He says after graduation he wanted to keep playing so he signed with an agency who helped find him an opportunity to play in Sweden. He played 7 professional seasons in Sweden and was prepared to play an 8th when he had trouble with his visa this summer due to new regulations in Europe due to unrest in the region. That led him to his current opportunity with the Growlers.
The Growlers are affiliated with the Toronto Maple Leafs and consist of players ranging in age from 19 to 34. Alex says he knows his role as a veteran and is happy to do whatever he can to help the team. Koopmeiners scored his first professional North American goal just before Christmas. Alex's fiancee is from Sweden and is with him in Newfoundland. Alex is excited to have his parents come and see him play in person later this month.
Koopmeiners indicates he'd like to play a few more seasons and currently enjoys his time in Canada playing for the Growlers. He understands an opportunity to play in the NHL is a long shot and would be a dream come true.
If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Alex Koopmeiners it is available below.