Former Wolverine Marody hits the right notes on and off the ice
Cooper Marody as hockey player, left, and recording artist: “Working at being a good musician will help me be a good hockey player.”
Cooper Marody is just as comfortable in a recording studio or on stage as he is on the ice.
Marody, who played at the University of Michigan, is an Edmonton Oilers prospect who split last season between the Oilers and Bakersfield of the American Hockey League. And he’s also a burgeoning singer-songwriter recording artist.
“My mentors are big on being a multi-dimensional person and not being just a hockey person,” Marody said on www.globalnews.ca last September.
A native of Brighton, the 22-year-old played AAA hockey for HoneyBaked and High School hockey at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.
Marody grew up playing hockey and did not really discover his musical talent until his late teens when he was playing in the United States Hockey League. While out to dinner with teammates one night, he was the loser in a game called “shoe check.” In the game, if someone makes a mark on your shoe without you noticing it, you have to stand up and sing.
Marody got shoe-checked and so sang “With You” by Chris Brow. His teammates seemed to like it, and Marody felt comfortable doing it.
Not long after, during the summer of 2015, Marody’s father surprised the family during a vacation by pulling out a guitar and playing a few songs. Marody bought a guitar the next day and has been playing ever since.
He began his career at Michigan that fall and spent most of his free time in the music room where he taught himself the piano and began writing songs.
He has written more than 25 songs and recorded many of them.
“I have people in Nashville that I work with musically,” he said. “I went down there a few times this summer (2018) to work on some stuff on weekends between training and skating.
“I sang at an event with close to 1,000 people at Michigan for student-athletes. That was probably one of my only real big performances thus far.”
He was encouraged to pursue music by someone who has also advised U-M’s most famous professional athlete alum, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. That person is Michigan executive associate athletic director Greg Harden, who is also a life coach and gained notoriety as Brady’s guru.
“Greg talks about being great at everything you do, and to work as hard as you can at everything you do,” Marody told USCHO.com. “Working at being a good musician will help me be a good hockey player. A lot of people look to be good at one thing, so if it doesn’t work out as a hockey player, (you feel that) your life is over.
“I talk to Greg about being a multi-dimensional person and having different passions. Greg instilled in Brady that, without or without football, he will do great things. Once I captured that mindset, I have never felt more confident on the ice, and in all aspects of my life.”
Marody considers himself a pop country artist, but hockey is definitely his first priority.
Selected in the sixth round (158th overall) of the 2015 NHL draft by the Philadelphia Flyers, Edmonton obtained his rights via trade on March 21, 2018, only a couple of weeks before Marody, then a junior, helped the Wolverines to the Frozen Four, where they lost in the semifinal.
He had 16 goals and 51 points that season and signed with the Oilers shortly after the Wolverines were eliminated.
He played three games with Bakersfield after signing in 2018 and had a goal and three assists.
Marody continued his outstanding production at the AHL level this past season with 19 goals and 64 points in 58 games. He didn’t have a point in six games with Edmonton.
Marody, 6 feet and 190 pounds, compared his game to that of Washington Capitals star center Nicklas Backstrom.
“He’s very poised with the puck,” Marody said. “He protects the puck well in the corners in the offensive zone. He finds goal scorers, he’s good on draws and he’s reliable defensively. I think I possess certain qualities and characteristics that I think resemble his game.”