Living the Dream: Jenner leaves Acadia with lots of memories

John Decoste
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Published on April 05, 2014

Leo Jenner

Published on March 22, 2014

Acadia's Leo Jenner (7) bangs the puck past the University of Saskatchewan Huskies' goalie during their March 21 game. The defenceman's goal tied up the game at 2-2, but the host Huskies went on to win 3-2, knocking the Axemen out of the tournament.

Published on March 10, 2014

Leo Jenner

Published on March 10, 2014

Leo Jenner shakes hands with SMU goalie Anthony Peters.

Published on March 10, 2014

Acadia Axemen's Leo Jenner hoists the AUS Men's Hockey Cup over his head at the Halifax Forum on Monday night after defeating the Saint Mary's Huskies. (Jeff Harper/Metro)

Published on December 31, 2013

Defencemen Leo Jenner potted Acadia's first goal of the game and was the third star of the exhibition match.

Published on March 02, 2014

Leo Jenner (7) and Dustin Ekelman go after the puck.

Published on November 21, 2013

Hockey Axemen head coach has been using defenseman Leo Jenner in front of the opposition net on Acadia power plays. The strategy paid off Wednesday when Jenner scored the second Axemen goal in an eventual 3-2 win over St. F.X. Though Jenner's goal was scored at even-strength, the Acadia power play had just ended. 

Published on January 26, 2013

Acadia's Leo Jenner, after his late third period goal Jan. 25 against Moncton.

Acadia will bid goodbye to a fan favourite this spring.

It hardly seems possible Leo Jenner has been patrolling the blueline for the Acadia hockey Axemen for four seasons. The towering six foot, four inch defenceman will graduate next month with his Kinesiology degree.

Jenner is perpetually a favourite among Acadia’s “seventh players” - the minor hockey players who line up with the Axemen at the start of games.

“I don’t know what it is, but for some reason, a lot of the ‘seventh players’ seem to pick me as their favourite. It’s made (the experience) a lot more fun for me,” he said.

Jenner, who grew up in Dorchester, ON, played five years of major junior hockey with the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers, where he gained a reputation as a hard-nosed defenceman and a solid teammate. He brought both skills with him to Wolfville in 2010.

“Burnsie (head coach Darren Burns) contacted me toward the end of my over age year in junior and asked me if I wanted to come for a recruiting visit,” he said.

He toured both Dalhousie and Acadia in the same weekend.

At Acadia, “I met the guys, and I liked the town, and especially that it was a small town you could get around in easily.”

Acadia’s hockey program, he added, had a history of good teams.

“I’d heard good things from other guys I knew who had graduated from major junior.”

Jenner had another reason for choosing the Axemen. Joe Gaynor, his teammate for five years in Plymouth, also came to Acadia. Gaynor and Jenner were the first two guys to play five years there.  The duo will graduate next month after four years each.

 

Academics, not NHL

Jenner’s younger brother, Boone, currently plays for the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, but Jenner realized the university route was a better fit for him.

“I had a couple of offers from semi-pro teams, but I was receiving an education package from Plymouth – you’re granted money, as long as you use it for school – and I felt it would have been a waste not to use it.”

Jenner fully embraced the academic side of university life – he was a CIS academic all-Canadian his first three years, and it’s a fairly sure bet he’ll make it four in a row.

“I felt my first year, there was definitely a learning curve academically. You need a bit of leeway at times because of hockey, but I feel I’ve adapted quite well.”

Juggling academics, athletics and the community involvement required of Acadia student-athletes “does get the best of you at times, but you learn to adjust.”

Jenner has also embraced the community side of being an Acadia student-athlete, particularly in the past two years.

“I feel I’ve gotten all the experience I could get while I was here,” he said, although in hindsight, “I wish I’d done more volunteering my first two years.”

Last year, he started making more of a conscious effort to get more involved, participating in Relay for Life, the Hannah Miller Tournament and other community activities.

Jenner says he has also really enjoyed the hockey the past four years at Acadia.

“We’ve had strong teams all four of my years here, and winning the AUS title and going to nationals this year was a great way to finish off my time here.”

He’s also made a lot of friends in Wolfville, both in the dressing room and in the community. His teammates, he says, “are all friends I’ll have for a long time.”

 

Looking ahead

“I don’t know if I’m totally finished with hockey quite yet – we’ll see if I get itchy over the summer – but I have finished my time here at Acadia.”

As for the future, that’s up in the air right now.

“I’m looking to graduate and go from there. Grad school is a possibility, but I’m also looking to get into the job market.”

With Cullen Morin, Chris Owens and Jenner all moving on, it will leave a hole on the Axemen roster, both physically – particularly in Jenner’s case – and on the blueline.

He pointed out, however, “one of the things Burnsie does best is recruiting, I’m sure he’ll find some D to replace us.”

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Recent comments

  • Perry Brandt
    April 08, 2014 - 17:08

    It's been a pleasure following your time here in Wolfville. Thanks for the years you've spent with the Axemen, you have been a great example for those that that follow.