Prior to the B.C. Hockey League Pod season ending, the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League connected with 100 Mile House Wranglers alum Jakob Gullmes. Gullmes was on loan to the Chilliwack Chiefs from the Langley Rivermen, who chose to opt out of the 2020-21 season. In this Q&A, Gullmes talks about his season, and in the video, his time with the Wranglers and how being in the league helped him develop.
KIJHL: What has it been like for you to play for the Chilliwack Chiefs?
JG: It’s really been awesome. I sat a lot behind Mathieu Caron and he’s a great leader and has been in the league for a long time. He knows what it’s all about. It’s a little bit of a different season for sure, but you know it’s been awesome. We have a really good group of guys, and it’s just exciting to be back on the ice playing games. I was coming off a bit of an injury riddled last season, so I’m excited to be here, excited to play hockey. Hopefully it’ll help me make the jump for a starting spot next year in Langley.
KIJHL: What did it mean for you to be picked up by the Chiefs?
JG: It meant quite a lot to me because it shows that I made a bit of a name for myself and I’ve worked hard and put myself in positions to be in the right eyes. It’s cool that other teams in the league are seeing me and are saying I want this kid to come play for us.
KIJHL: You guys play so many games in a tight schedule, what has it been like for you to be at your best, and still help out the team when you’ve played in a few games?
JG: It’s definitely been different, very busy. It does make the quarantine go by faster. It’s a little bit of a tough one because as a backup, there’s not really much I can do. I see our team, we’ve had a couple injuries and the boys are hurting. Being a teammate you want to help those guys out, but unfortunately I can’t go on the ice and play for them so I just tried to stay up on the bench and be loud and try and keep the boys going, keep the confidence high and keep the spirits good. It’s definitely a different one, one that hopefully we won’t see again.
KIJHL: You picked up your second win of the season, how do you feel that you’ve been playing?
JG: My first game of the season I felt really good, same with the second one. The third one was a little bit weird as it kind of went all over the place, but we got the win so I’m happy with that result. I feel like I’m starting to understand playing at this level. It’s definitely a different game then Junior B. It’s very fast and very skilled – you have got to be at your absolute peak to be at this level. Definitely my time in Junior B helped me prepare for the junior level, playing against older guys, playing against stronger guys helped me with the physicality of the game. People in front of me, screening me. With the opportunities I’ve been given, I feel like I’ve tried to make the best of them.
KIJHL: What kind of adjustments have you been making to play at the level you know you can perform at?
JG: I made sure I was ready for the second opportunity. Me and the goalie coach here in Chilliwack, Mackenzie Skapski, we go over video after every game and one thing that we’re really, really focusing on is just calming down my game. I’m a big person (six-foot-six, 211 pounds) and I have got to just play within myself and be confident that I know what I’m doing. I’m fast enough to be here. I’m good enough to play here. It’s just about playing your game.
Watch Gullmes’ video interview below.