When Logan Rands was asked what he will miss about playing for the Virden Oil Capitals, his first answer was just one word:
The Portage product played parts of four seasons with the Manitoba Junior Hockey League team. The standout defensemen wrapped up his junior career last winter after splitting 2020-2021 between the Oil Caps and the Duncan-based Cowichan Valley Capitals of the B.C. Hockey League due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The past four years I have spent in Virden have been the best experience of my life,” Rands said. “I will miss playing in front of a packed arena full of our passionate fans. I have made tons of lifelong friends along the way. The experience has been one that I will look back on fondly.”
He will not be too far away this fall. Rands plans on pursuing a business administration diploma with a financial services specialty at Brandon’s Assiniboine Community College.
Rands was a stalwart on the blue line and captained last season’s squad.
“When you have a guy like Logan who does so many things well, it's hard to summarize just how important he was to our group,” Virden head coach Tyson Ramsey said. “He was a leader in all aspects, on the ice, in the dressing room, in the community and in the league. He is a tremendous young man who I have a ton of respect for, and he will leave a lasting legacy here of hard work, dedication and commitment to his team and teammates.”
Rands posted career highs of eight goals, 30 assists, and 38 points in 53 games last season. He was named the team’s Top Defenseman and shared the Oil Caps Most Valuable Player award with Braden Fischer, the league’s MVP.
“This year especially we had an awesome group of guys,” he said. “Everyone in the room was super tight. We had a group of guys that made you want to go to the rink every day and be the best you could be. I would credit that to Tyson and Brett (Braybrook, assistant coach) who brought in such a good character group this season and our leadership group for all their hard work in the locker room.”
Rands expressed appreciation for everything the Oil Capitals organization and the Town of Virden did for him during his time with the team. He said that his billet family - Megan and Trevor Gabrielle and their children Rhyse and Makayla – became a second family to him.
“Our community support is second to none,” he said. “With so many fans and so much support at home games it really goes a long way for us players that are lucky enough to wear an Oil Caps jersey. I would also like to thank Tyson and the entire Oil Capitals organization for treating us players so professionally and with so much respect. This is a very well-run organization, and it was an honour for me to spend my entire four-year career playing here and have the opportunity to lead this team in my final season.”
Rands also appreciates former head coach and general manager Troy Leslie for drafting him and giving him a chance as a 17-year-old.
“He gave me lots of opportunity as a younger guy and mentored me into the player I ended up being,” Rands said.