In his final WHL season, former Broncos forward Conner Chaulk made his final visit to the Innovation Credit Union iPlex with the Calgary Hitmen last night.
It didn't take long for the memories from the 20-year-old's two-and-a-half year Broncos career to flood in.
"Scoring my first WHL goal, playoffs last year - that was surreal... This building is absolutely insane in the playoffs. It's going to be insane again this year," said the Regina-born forward. "Winning with this team last year, and the memories I have from the year before - I just can't say enough great things about it."
Chaulk was dealt along with defenceman Dom Schmiemann and fellow forward Riley Stotts to the Hitmen in the late-November trade for forwards Matteo Gennaro and Beck Malenstyn.
Pre-trade, Chaulk had 11 (6 G, 5 A) points in 21 appearances with the Broncos. An increased role on a younger team means the Hitmen's new alternate captain has increased the scoring by a slight margin.
Chaulk has 17 points (9 G, 8 A) in 31 games with Calgary, but the biggest part of the overager's game that is benefiting the Hitmen might be his leadership.
"I'm trying to lead on and off the ice - it's a really young team in that league and they got a very bright future ahead of them, and I'm just trying to pass down what I've learned, what I've seen, and how to go about yourself in this league," Chaulk explained. "I'm really excited about this group going forward."
With a good crop of young talent on the current roster, the on-ice future of the Calgary Hitmen is no doubt looking promising. But there's more to life in the WHL, according to the Broncos' 2016-17 Hockey Hounds Humanitarian.
"I think the off-ice work shows the fans who you are. There's two different sides of me - a guy that I am on the ice and the guy that I am off the ice," shared Chaulk. "You want to get the fans involved and the team as well, as it will help the team with support, and just it really shows that hockey players really care about others and the community around them."
Just six WHL games remain for Chaulk after the Broncos topped his Hitmen 3-2 in regulation for a much-needed two points as they try to catch the first-place Moose Jaw Warriors.