Growing up in Massena, N.Y., Aaron Bogosian played sports—any sport he could play—but he was most interested in hockey.
“Since the age of three, I wanted to play hockey. My father played football and so did my uncle, but my father had a friend on his football team who also played hockey. He ended up going as far as the AHL [American Hockey League]. Both families are close, so he got me into the game,” said Bogosian.
From that point, Bogosian’s progress through the ranks of hockey saw him play locally in Massena, then to junior-B hockey at the age of 14, then Junior-A hockey in the Central Junior Hockey League (CJHL) with the Brockville Braves and also, via a trade, from the Cornwall Colts.
“Cornwall was closer to home, so I didn’t mind the trade,” said Bogosian.
Once his junior stint came to a close, he decided to go to Crushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass.
“The main reason I went to Crushing, I think, was because my brother Zack wanted to go, but my mom wouldn’t let him go unless I went with him. He was so young that he needed to play somewhere where the competition was better… He really needed to leave home for that. So, I decided to go with him,” said Bogosian
(Zack Bogosian later went on to play in the Ontario Hockey League for the Peterborough Petes. He left the Petes for the NHL. The Atlanta Thrashers in 2008 drafted him in the first round, third overall. Due to his conditioning and form, he was able to make the team straight from pre-season camp. Zack Bogosian finished his rookie year, the 2008-09 season, with a total of 47 games played, 9 goals, 10 assists, and a total of 19 points—staggering results for the 18-year-old defenseman, right out of the OHL.)
Aaron Bogosian played lacrosse as well as hockey at Crushing and was an honor roll student. He joined the St. Lawrence Saints after playing one year with the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Cedar Rapids, Rough Riders.
“I wanted to go to college, and I wanted to pick the right one, right fit, both hockey-wise and family-wise. I had been away from home for so long, St. Lawrence just fit me perfectly. Plus I had played with many of my current teammates before… I played with Alex Curran at Crushing. I played with Brock McBride and Sean Flanagan at Cornwall. I knew so many people and I have family here… My parents can come and see me play now. I am like a hometown boy now,” said Bogosian.
He feels that he made the right decision by taking the college route instead of the Major Junior, Canada route.
“At least this way, I am getting a degree out of it,” he said. His is majoring in performance and communication art.
“I don’t really know what I want to do with it now; I am focusing more on the communication side, rather than the art side. When hockey is done for me, I always thought about being a sports agent or maybe a strength coach.”
The NHL, unfortunately, has not drafted him, but he can be picked up as a free agent once his tenure as a Saint is over. He is now going into his third year.
“Hopefully, I can continue to play well and sign after my senior year,” said Bogosian.
(For the NHL, one cannot just declare themselves “ready to be drafted” like in American football. In hockey, it goes by draft year. Last year, those born in 1990 were eligible. Those born in 1991 will be drafted this year, in 2009. So Zack Bogosian got drafted in the 2008 draft, for the 2008-09 season. Aaron Bogosian’s draft year passed, meaning he can only get into the NHL as an un-drafted free agent.)
He plays center, but with the mind of a winger. He is aggressive, not afraid to stand up for himself and his teammates. He molded his game around his favorite player growing up—Cam Neely. (Neely’s career was cut short due to his numerous leg injuries. The last and most severe came against Pittsburgh Penguin’s defensive-man Ulf Samuelsson, who to this day is faulted for ending Neely’s career.)
“I use my speed to do the ‘dirty work.’ I am a two-way player, meaning I can play offensively and defensively. I hate to lose and it shows in my style of play,” said Aaron Bogosian.
He is not the only Armenian player on the Saints current roster. The goalie, Alex Petizian, is also Armenian.
“We get along great. We are actually going to be roommates next year,” said Bogosian.
“We get along great not just because we are teammates but because we are Armenian. We share a common history. We both know who we are and what our history entails. Being Armenian made us closer, both as teammates and friends,” added Bogosian.
His involvement and knowledge of being Armenian came from his grandfather. “My grandfather spoke to my brothers and I in Armenian when we were younger, and still today. Even though both my brothers and I do not know Armenian well. We want to learn. We want to go and see where my great grandfather grew up. We want, and I, especially, want to go to Armenia, see Mt. Ararat. I want to see my grandfather’s town in Turkey. We know about our roots, some of our history. We know about the genocide. I am not that into the Armenian community, since in Massena, not a lot of Armenians are around and I have my hockey, but I know where I come from and want to learn more—the language and the history.”
The Bogosian family, as a whole, is Armenian.
“We have Armenian food all the time, we always have the egg breaking on Easter. We are Armenian—and I am very proud of that fact,” he concluded.