Rapid City Rush

First Line Love: Logan Nelson Forechecks Life with his Storm

February 14, 2024 - ECHL (ECHL)
Rapid City Rush News Release

Hockey doesn't often allow the opportunity to share its softer, sweeter side. And while this love story is beautiful, it can not be told with storybook prose. This is still a hockey story - and it packs a punch.

It would almost seem an offense to a hard-hitting, honest hockey player like Logan Nelson to tell a story with such flowery poetry. It may be even more egregious to tell a sickeningly sweet tale to his expecting wife Storm.

While Nelson is a 6-foot-1 hunk of muscle who finishes checks and scores goals now 10 years into his ECHL career; Storm Nelson is a powerhouse of her own. She is intelligent, athletic, striking, and ultimately is able to keep the household together during every season.

Their story isn't a fairytale - it's much better. It's raw and it's real. The Nelson family was built with deeper roots and a more solid foundation than many love-struck spouses. Through their adventures and trials together, they stand as a paragon of major league love in minor league hockey.

"Storm takes care of me," smiled Logan, now nearly 14 years into a relationship with his first crush.

Logan moved to Rogers, Minnesota in second grade. That's where he first encountered Storm, slightly younger, but a friendly new face in the town of less than 15,000.

"We were always talking through middle school, and she played soccer with my sister and stuff," remembered Logan.

"We didn't actually start dating until we were 16," said Storm. "He told me happy birthday and we started dating like two weeks after that. He sent me a GIF on Skype."

The video-chat platform would get its fair share of use in the early days of the Nelsons' romance, especially as Logan's career took him from Minnesota to Kansas to Iowa and then to Victoria, British Columbia.

"It was a challenge at the time, but looking back on it, I'm glad it happened that way, just because maybe you don't go through that until you're married or have a job and you're traveling," said Logan.

"I think if anyone had worrying to do it was me because he just had the best time in Des Moines and Victoria," said Storm. "We let him go off and see the world as a big, bad 20-year-old."

The couple broke up for a brief time during Logan's WHL career with the Victoria Royals. However, it was Logan who realized his heart belonged with Storm.

"She told me she was hanging out with another guy and that was it for me. I was like, I never want her to be with another guy, so that was a pretty easy decision for me," admitted Logan.

While Logan was becoming a highly touted prospect who would eventually be drafted in 2012 by the Buffalo Sabres, Storm was pursuing her own athletic career as a soccer player at Upper Iowa University.

"I liked doing sports the same time he did," said Storm. "Summers were super special for us and staying in shape was a priority for us both... he was super supportive of me, and I was supportive of him, so it was good."

As Storm finished her biology major, she and Logan moved in together, just in time for the realities of minor league hockey to set in.

From 2016 to 2018, Nelson floated around the league to six different teams. That stint included his first games in Rapid City, but also saw the Nelson family move to Norfolk, Orlando, and Fort Wayne before settling in Indianapolis.

"We basically came professional packers," said Storm, who remembers the 27-hour drive from Rapid City to Norfolk, Virginia. "It sucked for me, but I know it sucked worse for him."

Storm, often driving behind Logan's flights from new home to new home, gained experience on the road. Those memories are ones she now passes on to new wives and girlfriends on the hockey journey.

"I've met some of my best friends in pro hockey. Like, we're in their weddings... they're in our wedding," gleamed Storm.

The Nelson wedding is quite the saga from Logan saving for the ring to proposal, and to a ceremony - all with a global pandemic going on no less. Storm was the keeper of all the banking passwords which proved a tricky roadblock for Logan's proposal plan.

"I had [the ring] delivered to our captain's house," said Logan, who was playing in Indianapolis at the time. "And it was like hot lava, you know, having it. I felt like she always knew it was in the apartment."

"It was December and he was like, let's go take pictures with the Christmas lights... and I was like, the man who never wants to take a picture with me, wants to go take pictures with the Christmas lights, so I think I had a little bit of an idea what was up," said Storm.

The Nelsons opted for as large of a wedding as possible with COVID-19 restrictions, putting their own wishes for a small ceremony aside for a larger, more inclusive wedding. And on August 7, 2021, the new elementary-school friends became lifelong partners.

Laughing and smiling at each other, Logan and Storm both remembered the difficulty in getting their bridesmaids and groomsmen ready, a poorly tied necktie that required a father's help, and even a groomsman getting a DoorDash delivery in the venue's foyer.

"It was a big party and one of my favorite days," said Logan, laughing at the memories made.

After Logan's career took him to Atlanta, the first challenge the couple encountered was being demoted to the SPHL in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many ECHL teams to carry the maximum number of veteran players allowed. The Nelsons were wedged into the SPHL for a season with the Birmingham Bulls

"I had a great relationship with the coach, and the booster club was unreal, I've never been treated that well," said Nelson. "But it was playing in Birmingham that made me appreciate playing in the Coast more."

Armed with his newfound appreciation for the league and his newlywed wife, Nelson signed with the Rush in 2021-22 and after over 300 ECHL games, earned his first AHL call-up that season to Tucson. Nelson logged 60 points that season and helped the Rush to their second ECHL Kelly Cup Playoff appearance in team history.

"It's really become a home for us, here in Rapid City," said Logan.

For Logan and Storm though, the home is growing. The Nelson family announced they were expecting a baby boy in November with a due date in the middle of the 2024 playoffs.

"Logan was the one who was really leading the charge on wanting kids," said Storm as Logan beamed at the thought of fatherhood.

"I think he'll have a stick or a golf club in his hand like immediately, but if he doesn't want to play then I'm going to support him in whatever he does want to do," said Logan. "I do hope he plays a little puck though."

With ten years in the ECHL under his belt, Logan Nelson is set to play his 500th ECHL game at the end of February in Greenville. While at one point during the summer, the Nelson family considered retirement, Logan found his inspiration to keep grinding through life in AA hockey.

"I've already played ten years, and I don't know how many I have left, but I think it'd be cool for little man to see me suit up just one time," said Logan.

The life of the Nelson family has been tied together through moves, trades, memories, and more with the binding of hockey. While the next chapter of life may be parenthood, it doesn't mean the hockey chapter is closing.

And whenever it does, you'll still find the Nelsons out with their two dogs and their son doing what they do best - living life to the fullest.

"I don't know what I'm going to do after hockey," said Logan. "But I'll take that adventure when it comes, I guess."

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