Each week we’ll talk with the members of the 2016-17 Powell River Kings to get a glimpse at what their off seasons and summers look like. This week we focus on former Kings captain Jake Kohlhauser.
It takes a special mix of leadership abilities and hockey skills to be the captain of a junior hockey team. Over his 112 regular season and playoff games as a member of the Powell River Kings, Jake Kohlhauser provided everything the team asked for as captain.
He may not have lit the world on fire with his 26 points as a King, but his constant physical play and steady defensive presence in his own zone are what made him a staple on the Kings blueline over the past two seasons.
Prior to joining the Kings, Kohlhauser spent the previous two seasons in the Western Hockey League. A second-round pick of the Vancouver Giants in 2011, Kohlhauser ended up playing in 79 WHL games with the Giants, Edmonton Oil Kings, Saskatoon Blades and Victoria Royals, posting a goal and five assists.
“It’s a weird feeling, almost like I don’t believe it,” Kohlhauser said of finishing his junior hockey career. “But I have so much to look forward to in the future so that makes it a little bit easier.”
That future while take place in Kohlhauser’s home town of St. Albert, Alberta as he is moving back there for the summer before getting set to begin his collegiate career and schooling at MacEwan University in the fall.
MacEwan is located in Edmonton and has a student population of nearly 20,000. Kohlhauser says he plans on working towards his Bachelor of Physical Education and Kinesiology while playing for the school’s hockey team, the Griffins.
“I’m looking forward to joining them as they come off their championship season,” Kohlhauser said. “I’m hoping I can contribute next year. The balance of school and hockey is going to be tough, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
The Griffins won the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference championship this past season, defeating the defending champion NAIT Ooks in overtime in the deciding game three.
Kohlhauser knows a thing or two about overtime, as the Kings season came to an end with a heartbreaking loss in game seven to the Victoria Grizzlies.
“It was complete disappointment. As a group we felt we were the better team,” Kohlhauser said of the loss. “Throughout the series we had opportunities to step up and take control but we couldn’t do it. It’s tough to think about, but that’s how hockey goes sometimes.”
While the sting of a game seven overtime loss may take a long time to heal, Kohlhauser says that isn’t what he’ll remember most about his time as a King.
“The town and community of Powell River was such a great experience,” he said. “I met so many great people that will be friends for life. The coaching staff and the players I played with made my hockey develop to another level and I can’t thank them enough for that.”