Dream comes true for Winterhawks Kehler
PORTLAND, Ore. —
Winterhawks goalie Cole Kehler has spent most of his life playing hockey, and he is having a blast with the Hawks in the Rose City.
“From the time you’re a kid, you just want to play hockey,” says Kehler. “That’s all you want to do. You’re sitting in class, you want to get outside at recess and you want to play hockey. If you’re with your buddies in summer, you wanna get out on the street and play street hockey and things like that. So now, just having the opportunity to actually get paid to do that. It’s honestly, it’s a dream come true and it’s incredibly exciting.”
Just last week, the 6-foot-4 inch, 200-pound Kehler signed a three-year entry level contract with the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL.
“It’s something that’s taken a lot of commitment and dedication over the years and a lot of perseverance through some tougher situations in the game,” says Kehler, “but, it’s obviously very nice to kind of come out on top for the time being and earn a contract with L.A.”
Cole is from Altona, Manitoba, Canada. He started his WHL career with Kamloops, but only played 32 games in two seasons. Then he got a chance with the Hawks.
“It’s a great lesson,” says Winterhawks Coach Mike Johnston, adding, “because he persevered, he worked, he handled adversity well and now he’s got a contract with the Los Angeles Kings, and they do a great job with their goaltenders.”
To make it even better, Kehler’s parents were in town when he signed his contract.
“Yeah, that was pretty special,” says Cole. “They were flying in for Teddy Bear toss, so I had them there Friday morning and put pen to paper with them in the room. So it was obviously very special.”
So was Teddy Bear toss.
“That was awesome, you know, it was my second one here, and I just got a little bit of chills going through me, thinking about it with that sold-out crowd. It’s a treat to play in front of, and we definitely appreciate all of our fans and all of the support.”