TISDALE — Cole Tanchuk’s love of his sport makes him a leader for the Tisdale Trojans.
“He is a guy who loves hockey, a rink rat, loves video, loves practice,” Trojans head coach Dennis Kubat said.
The bench boss said Tanchuk leads by example on and off the ice. The 16-year-old’s passion for the game is one of the reasons the second-year Trojan is an assistant captain for the AAA U18 squad, whose season has suspended until at least Dec. 17 due to new restrictions put into place last week to try to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the province.
“I love the competition and the team part of the game,” Tanchuk said. “It’s a good way to stop thinking about the outside world for the few hours you are on the ice.”
As well as leadership, the Trojans rely on the veteran Tanchuk to produce offensively and defensively on the blue line. This season the 6-foot-1, 175-pounder has two assists in three games.
Kubat said that Tanchuk has a high compete level, makes a good first pass, and “does a great job of stick on puck.” The Trojans rely on him to quarterback their powerplay.
The head coach said the defenceman has been playing with lots of confidence. During Tanchuk’s time in Tisdale, he has gotten stronger and his shot and skating have improved, Kubat noted. Those improvements have come in part through hard work in the summer.
“This offseason I really focused on my skating and offensive skills such as shooting and passing,” Tanchuk said. “I also worked on my upper and lower body strength in the gym.”
In 2019, the Shellbrook product was drafted by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the fifth round of the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft. That year the Flin Flon Bombers grabbed him in the second round, 19th overall, of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Bantam Draft. Tanchuk played his U15 hockey close to home in Prince Albert and even suited up as an affiliated player for a game with that city’s AAA U18 Mintos. However, he opted to head east and don a Trojans uniform for AAA U18 action.
“What drew me to Tisdale was the great organization and how the community is always behind the team and everything that comes along with being a Trojan,” Tanchuk said.
He billets with Robin and Rikki-Lynn Shellito and their two kids, Parker and Norah. Tanchuk said, “I couldn’t ask for a better family.”
The Trojans last week
The Tisdale Trojans’ Saskatchewan Male U18 AAA Hockey League season has been put on hold until at least Dec. 17. This is due to new restrictions that the province announced last week in its effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through three games, Tisdale had a 2-1 record. The Trojans had two games postponed due to weather and another pair rescheduled due to COVID-19.