That’s how 20-year-old Pats defenceman Liam Schioler remembers his first WHL game four years ago.
Now, the veteran defenceman is helping a new, young group of Pats make the same adjustments to the game that he did.
It’s a role that head coach Dave Struch said comes naturally him, making it only natural that he was named one of the team’s two assistant captains alongside Nick Henry and captain Jake Leschyshyn.
“He’s one of those defensive defencemen that when you look back on how you want to build sustained success he’s the type of player, the type of leader that you want to have a role model for the young guys so it becomes an easy decision for him as an assistant captain,” Struch said.
Those leadership qualities are something that Schioler takes pride in. He knows he doesn’t have the same scoring touch that some of the previous captains and assistant captains did – he has just one career goal and 25 assists – but he still has a lot to offer.
“I don’t have that same skill set and it’s going to be more of a role that I’m going to have to do everything right on and off the ice and show the young guys everything that needs to be done the right way.”
He’s had a lot of practice at doing just that. Schioler is a career Pat who has spent his entire time in the organization focused and putting whatever work was necessary to get better. It’s something Struch noticed about Schioler right away.
“He came in all in. He watched how we carried ourselves, he learned from that and he became an extension of us,” Struch said.
Now closing in on the end of his WHL career and his last year as a Regina Pat, Schioler couldn’t be more grateful for what he’ll be able to give back to the organization that brought him into the fold and gave him a shot.
And even though his final season may not be as high scoring or as game-winning as the previous ones, that doesn’t mean Schioler will take his role on the team any less seriously.
“I’m going to take pride and showing the next group of guys how to do things the right way and how we want to do things as the Regina Pats.”
- 20-year-old forward Bryce Platt has moved on from the Pats, Struch confirmed Wednesday. The Pats have four over-aged players on the roster that they had to trim down to three by the Oct. 10 deadline. Platt will head down to Estevan to play in the SJHL.
- The Pats are still unsure of the future of defenceman Cale Fleury. The Montreal Canadiens prospect is currently assigned to their AHL affiliate, but haven’t been told if Fleury will be returned to the team for his final year of WHL eligibility.
- Defenceman Brady Pouteau remains on injured reserve and is not expected to make his season debut until November.