Four grandchildren of Richard and Barbara Redden are currently either playing NCAA Division I hockey, Tier 1 in the United States Junior Hockey League or junior hockey with the Connecticut State Junior Rangers.
The hockey stars – siblings Matthew, Alexander, and Benjamin Steeves, and cousin Connor Redden – are making a name for themselves in the university and tier 1 junior hockey circles. They are the great-grandchildren of Mary Akin and the late Dr. Fred Akin, and the late Pauline and Roy Redden.
The Steeves siblings are the sons of Richard and Barbara Redden’s daughter Alison Steeves while Connor Redden is the son of Richard and Barbara Redden’s son Fred Redden.
The eldest is 19-year-old Matthew Steeves. He is suiting up with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame University in Indiana after spending last season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Tier I Junior Hockey League.
In an interview with the Valley Journal at their grandparents' cottage in Vaughan, Hants County, Matthew stressed he had no desire to play Major Junior Hockey in Canada because he firmly believes in finishing with a strong academic record after four years at Notre Dame.
The Notre Dame program sent 13 former, current and future Fighting Irish players to NHL Prospect Development Camps in the past year.
“Notre Dame is the second best undergrad business school in the United States,” said Matthew. He is also taking core science classes in order to go to medical school.
His father is presently the chief anesthesiologist at the hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire and has a hockey background. He played a season in the Western Major Junior Hockey League and four years of CIAU Hockey with the University of Manitoba.
"Pro hockey is a primary dream but academics will not take a back seat,” said Matthew.
Notre Dame is a strong university team. Last spring, they made it to the NCAA Frozen Four before being eliminated at the Chicago Stadium by the University of Denver by a 6-1 score.
The Steeves' middle child is 17-year-old Alexander Steeves and he has already been scouted and has committed to the Fighting Irish for the 2018-19 season.
“It has always been my dream to play in the NHL but education comes first,” said Alexander.
He is presently considering a business-finance degree at Notre Dame.
“I was literally born with hockey in my blood,” he said, noting he was born in the hockey state of Minnesota.
He began playing the sport at the age of six in New Hampshire.
Alex left high school in Grade 10 in New Hampshire to join the Dubuque Fighting Saints in Iowa in the United States Junior Hockey League where he just finished his second season.
He will finish his Grade 12 in Dubuque this season while playing 60 games for the Saints.
Steeves was recently featured in the New England Hockey Journal and his former coach with the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs described Alex as a “machine” when he showed up for training camp and began playing with boys two years older. He dominated in sprints, distance running, and short shuttles.
Seventeen teams compete in the USJHL with 12 proceeding to the playoffs.
Alex said he has had excellent role models when it comes to playing hockey. Besides his father, he had role models like his grandfather Richard Redden and his great uncle, the late Brian Redden, who both were inducted into Windsor’s Hockey Heritage Hall of Fame.
Richard Redden is also a recent inductee into the Maritime Sport Hall of Fame and was a member of the 1961-62 Halifax Jr. Kingfishers who advanced to the Eastern Canadian Memorial Cup playoffs.
Brian Redden also played junior hockey with Halifax and the Windsor Royals and was a member of the 1973-74 Maritime Intermediate A Champions – the Windsor Alpines.
The youngest of the Steeves family was recently selected to the USA National Select Group of hockey players and is currently rated the No. 1 Under 15 player in the State of New Hampshire. The 15-year-old is presently on Notre Dame’s radar.
He is also presently on track to play for the United States' national junior team within the next couple of years. He said this process begins when Hockey USA invites the 40 best junior players to camp.
He agreed with his brother Alex that being born into a hockey family can certainly help but added, “they do not affect your ability to become a great player as only hard work will accomplish that.”
Ben said he will finish high school playing for the Sioux City, Iowa Musketeers in the USJHL. The club’s season opener is in Kearney, Nebraska on Oct. 13.
Connor Redden is the 18-year-old son of Fred and Monika Redden and graduated with honors from King's-Edgehill School in 2017. He served as the captain of the KES hockey team.
“I very much, like my cousins, want to play university hockey but it all depends on discussions with some NCAA teams across the United States,” said Connor Redden.
He told the Valley-Journal Advertiser he owes a great deal to the King's-Edgehill hockey program, where he played for four years, as it helped him mature as a player. The school played prep school hockey, which saw them have games in Ontario and take an exhibition trip to Germany.
For the 2017-18 season, Connor has signed with the Connecticut Junior Rangers of the United States Premier Hockey League.