Rockets Colton Hutchinson, right, celebrates a goal with his teammates. Hutchinson will play for the UVic Vikes next fall.
Bill Pringle photos
Growing up in Calgary, Golden Rocket Colton Hutchinson always made it his goal to play university hockey.
He’s getting that chance with the UVic Vikes in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League
“It was honestly a dream come true for me,” says Hutchinson, who is excited to join Rockets teammate Dominic Turner, but also his good friend, Blake Pilon, who played for the Kimberley Dynamiters this past season.
Read: Pilon’s play, experience leads to Vikes commitment
Hutchinson has known Pilon since Kindergarten and they played spring hockey together.
“This year was the first year we played against each other,” says Hutchinson. “It was cool playing against someone I have known.”
Hutchinson spent two seasons in Golden, and this season had a strong year despite challenges that included their arena being shutdown and having to travel to Invermere for practices and playing games in Cranbrook. December and January was a challenge for the group. The Rockets assistant captain says he enjoyed a strong second half.
“I started to be able to have that edge, and strength and size, which definitely made a difference,” says Hutchinson. “I put some pucks in the net. Filled that leadership role on my team.”
He feels he can be successful in the B.C. IHL with his physicality because the style is physical, gritty and moves fast.
This season he became better with his skating after doing power skating work with coach Chuck Wight.
“In a game where speed kills, that definitely makes a difference,” he says. “Overall confidence. Being put in a leadership role on the Rockets. Be put in situations where I was able to be successful, definitely allowed my confidence to grow.”
Hutchinson says playing in the KIJHL helped his development a lot.
“The level of hockey is incredible. You are given the tools you need to succeed with extra practice time. Practices just dedicated to skills. Overall focus on improving players.”
Hutchinson will also be joined by former Rockets teammate Jack Fairfield, who played in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.
Schamhart likes that Hutchinson will contribute with strength and physicality and set up teammates for scoring chances.
“He is enthusiastic about UVic,” says Schamhart. “The first year is hard. From junior to this step is gigantic. ”