Not every Philadelphia Revolution skater on the Junior A squad is from the Tri-State area.
Just take one of the Revolution’s most consistent defenseman for example, Levi Wright.
The St. Louis, MO native joined Philadelphia for the 2019-20 campaign after spending parts of the past four seasons with Carshield’s AAA program of the North American Prospects Hockey League. It’s a fair question to ask – how did Wright land in the City of Brotherly Love with the Revolution’s Eastern Hockey League program?
For starters, it seemed that the blueliner was on the organization’s radar for quite some time.
“We have been recruiting Levi for the past two seasons coming into this year,” said Revolution head coach Jon Rogger.
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“I got to see him play at Nationals down at Ice-line while he played U18 for Carshield. I have a great connection with the Carshield staff that have sent us players in the past and have done very well in our league.”
While the 19-year-old expressed that he had only been to the greater Philadelphia area once prior to joining the Revolution, it’s evident the once newcomer is now one of Philly’s own.
“He settled in from day one and hasn't skipped a beat,” said Rogger. “He is a fantastic kid both on and off the ice and gets along with everyone. He's just one of those guys who others gravitate to.”
Captain Anthony Bench also spoke highly on the right-handed D-man and his charisma.
“Having Levi around is great,” said Bench. “I've only just met him this year, but it feels like we've been friends for years. He's just one of those guys that you can connect with so easily.”
After meeting Wright during a recent postgame at the Revolution Ice Gardens without his hockey “bucket” strapped on, it’s fair to say he’s calm, cool and collected. That’s probably the exact recipe the coaching staff and his teammates would hope one of their top blueliners would possess. It’s also safe to say Wright’s feelings towards his new family are mutual.
“I like the guys a lot and we’re a close-knit group,” said Wright. “It’s probably the closest I’ve ever been with a team before.”
For the record, Wright also joked about how he “loves the cheesesteaks here” in Philadelphia. But on a serious note, the youngster also expressed his admiration for “hanging out” and being able to live with his first-year teammates.
In addition to the comradery that Wright’s embraced, he’s also enjoyed the winning aspect with his Junior A peers.
“I really like that are team wins a lot,” said Wright.
It’s a plain and simple statement, but easier said than done, no?
“At home we’re undefeated which is really nice, and we’ve been given a little more freedom (by the staff) than I’ve had in the past (with other teams).”
The Revolution’s level-headed defenseman also offers plenty of assets on the ice.
“One of the biggest things that stand out for me is that he’s an honest player and plays the game the right way,” said Rogger.
“He never cheats the play and you always know what you are going to get from Levi. He's extremely tough in the corners and competes hard in one-on-one battles all over the ice. Levi has done extremely well on special teams for us all season. He runs one of our power plays with his hard shot, as well as logging a lot of minutes on the penalty kill.”
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Entering the EHL’s fifth Showcase Series for Jan. 12-13, Wright ranks in the top ten for scoring on the Revolution while netting three goals and chipping in 14 helpers on the year. No. 13’s five points (2g-3a) on the man advantage are testament to his well-balanced play, too.
The Revolution’s captain also chimed in about Wright’s overall style and approach on the ice.
“He is very poised and patient with the puck, and there are times when he has the puck and I'm just amazed at some of the plays he makes by just being patient,” said Bench. “What stood out to me was his play-making ability and confidence; watching him play, you'd think he'd been playing Juniors for a couple of years now.”
Speaking of playing Junior, Wright spoke highly of his rookie campaign in the EHL and his relationship with his head coach.
“It’s been really positive and I’m learning a lot. They (the staff) want to definitely see us succeed.”
According to coach Rogger, Wright is also focused on the bigger picture which is a valued characteristic.
“He's one of those guys that will do whatever it takes to win and isn't afraid to block shots at any given time of the game.”
'Whatever it takes' is the type of approach that the Revolution needs to build off of to advance to Providence, RI in March for the Frozen Finals.
(The Philadelphia Revolution can be followed on Twitter @RevsJrHockey)