Conor Shortall commits to Acadia

Cape Breton Eagles defenceman will suit up with Axemen in the fall

The Acadia Axemen are proud to welcome defenceman Conor Shortall to the hockey program.

The St. John’s, Newfoundland born defenceman has played his junior career in the QMJHL, starting out in 2020-21 with the Drummondville Voltigeurs, before joining the Cape Breton Eagles for the last 3 seasons.  This season, the defensive blueliner has 9 points in 65 games, and in 231 regular season QMJHL games over his career, the 5’9” defenceman has 59 points and 147 penalty minutes.

We asked Conor, why he chose Acadia for hockey and schooling, he said, “For many years I had thought that attending Acadia University and playing hockey as an Axemen would be an awesome, life changing experience and opportunity for me. Growing up in Newfoundland and playing hockey within the province, many kids have a dream of playing in the QMJHL and then being recruited by a university within Atlantic Canada. Fortunately, that path has led me to Acadia and the Axemen hockey program. I have played with and against some of the existing players at Acadia and every single one of them talked about how much they have been enjoying their experience and how great both the university and the hockey program are.

I am not overly familiar with Wolfville myself, but my mother played university soccer and volleyball for Memorial University in Newfoundland, and she has told me numerous times what a great campus and close-knit community is offered by Acadia and the Wolfville area. Additionally, when pursuing the next step in my hockey and education journey, it was important for me to be a little closer to home and Wolfville’s easy access offers that as well. However, the final decision came down to the comfort that I felt with head coach Darren Burns and some of the other coaching staff. In a number of conversations, it became apparent to me that there was a special place for me here with the Axemen and Darren really seemed to know the player that I am and what I can offer and contribute and that was important to me. I truly have already felt welcomed into the program and I have not even stepped onto the ice yet.”

Shortall was an assistant captain with the Eagles this season, and brings a physical presence to the Axemen blueline. With the Axemen graduating physical rearguards Morgan Nauss and Hudson Wilson, Shortall will look to help fill that void in the lineup.

Acadia Axemen head coach Darren Burns is excited about the addition of Shortall saying, “Conor is a very energetic and gritty defenceman. He keeps his game simple and plays hard every shift. His physical approach to the game makes opponents aware when he’s on the ice. He is an extremely well liked and respected teammate.”

As for Conor, he describes his game this way “I think and hope the Axemen fans are going to like my style of play and they can expect to see a physical, defensive defenceman, but also someone that has some offensive potential given the right situation. Over the last 3 years playing for the Cape Breton Eagles, it seemed that the fan base there enjoyed what I offered, and I am confident the Axemen fans will as well. I feel honored to play university hockey and certainly take nothing for granted, and that shows on the ice every game. I have been described by some people as a guy that never takes a night off and works hard every shift, every minute that I get to play. I honestly believe and feel that I must earn the respect of the coaches and fans and therefore I will always work hard to ensure and gain that respect. Additionally, I am very much a team focused player, always put the team and the success of the team ahead of my own individual success. I believe I can bring some positive energy and I take pride in parts of the game that may not always get noticed by some, like killing penalties, blocking shots, and playing in the key situations when the game is on the line. I love the roar of a packed arena and I cannot wait to get started this coming season.”

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more news on the Acadia for the 2024-25 season. #GoAcadiaGo

Story by Chris Richards