New Hampshire native Mason Krueger made the trip to Calgary, not just to play hockey for the SAIT Trojans, but also to pursue a career in graphic communications.
Krueger, 22, said a big part of the reason he chose SAIT was because a friend of his, Ryan Caswell, played for the Trojans last season.
“I kept seeing his Snapchat stories in Calgary, and I really liked the city,” said Krueger.
“It’s been nothing but good times ever since I’ve been here.”
Krueger described Canadians as being much friendlier than what he’s used to.
“When you walk by people, you don’t just get them staring straight down at their feet,” he said.
“People always stop and say hi.”
Krueger is in his first year of the graphic communications and print technology program at SAIT, and said graphic design is one of his passions.
Krueger has his own entertainment business that he started with a friend from Virginia, called Highest Frequency Entertainment.
“It’s almost like a culture brand,” explained Krueger.
“We want to evoke the creativity in people, and give them a platform to establish themselves in music, art and fashion.”
Krueger said his company will be launching a website in the near future, which will include a blog and clothing store.
“It’s not just our one thing. We want to be involved with everyone,” he said.
When he’s not playing hockey, Krueger said he doesn’t have much down time.
“I always want to be working towards something,” Krueger said.
“I don’t like being in a stagnant mode, where I’m just waiting for the next thing to happen in life.”
Krueger’s active lifestyle goes all the way back to his childhood in Nashua, N.H.
Mason’s father, Mike Krueger, said Mason was always outdoors, or playing sports.
“He also had a great love for animals,” recalled Mike Krueger.
“He was always out in the woods picking up bugs and toads, and was very inquisitive about the environment.”
Along with being talented at hockey, Mike Krueger said Mason was also very good at baseball as a kid.
“He wishes he could’ve found a way to get more time on the baseball field.”
Mike Krueger said Mason was always creative and a great writer, which is demonstrated by his entertainment business and graphic design passion.
“He’s always been a creative and entrepreneurial type kid.”
Mike Krueger said Mason progressed over time from creative writing to creative design, and really wanted to pursue some form of entertainment promotion.
Mason’s success, both on and off the ice, can be attributed to his being levelheaded, and not getting upset when things don’t go his way.
“He has a good ability to look at the big picture, and not let the little things bother him,” explained Mike Krueger.
“Even when things are going wrong for me, I can talk to him, and he sets me straight.”
Phil Sweeney has been a friend of Mason Krueger’s for 15 years, and first met him while they both played hockey for the Nashua Panthers.
Sweeney said hockey was both of their lives all day.
“We would play street hockey all day,” recalled Sweeney.
“It’s where Mason honed his original skills.”
Sweeney said Krueger’s success at hockey could be attributed to his intelligence and work ethic.
“He would wake up at 6 a.m., when no one else would, for morning skate.”
Krueger’s hard work on the ice paid off when he found out he would be attending Avon Old Farms, a college prep school in Connecticut.
“I was with his family when he got accepted,” reminisced Sweeney.
“It was a pretty special moment.”
After playing for Avon Old Farms for two seasons and graduating, Krueger was drafted into the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL).
After P.E.I., Krueger started his post-secondary education, while playing for Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania.
Krueger started playing hockey when he was nine years old, and had is original interest sparked for the game when he went to see a Manchester Monarchs American Hockey League game.
“After a year of watching the Monarchs, I told my dad I wanted to play,” said Krueger.
Krueger said once he’s graduated, he would go back home for a couple years, but eventually wants to get out and explore the world.
“I think travelling is the best way to become cultured, and to learn.”