Caleb Moretz was unsure about his hockey future when, as an 18-year-old, he did not receive any interest from junior teams in the United States.
“I caught wind about an open tryout for Flin Flon, so I drove 48 hours from Alaska to Saskatoon with my dad for camp,” the Fairbanks product said. “I had a great tryout and, at the end, the Bombers gave me a chance and offered me a spot. That’s how I made it on the Bombers and it’s worked out pretty well ever since.”
It certainly has. The 20-year-old forward has been an important contributor to the Bombers for two seasons. He earned a scholarship offer earlier this season and committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York state.
“Caleb does so many things well that it’s hard to name everything but I think the biggest thing he does so well is compete,” said Bombers head coach Mike Reagan when asked what Moretz does well for the Bombers. “Day in, day out he brings his very best effort which leads by example. He forces others to be better because you can’t help but want to be better or he will leave you behind.”
The veteran coach said the assistant captain “is a real pleasure to coach and he is becoming a rare breed. It’s very hard to find guys that are high end that have the work ethic and are coachable.”
Moretz has 28 points in 20 games at the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Christmas break. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound forward has scored 14 times with three game winners.
“As a player, he’s as complete a player as you’re going to find,” Reagan said. “He plays hard on both sides of the puck, finishes his checks, wins battles, blocks shots, is a threat offensively, positive on the bench, the list goes on and on.”
Moretz’s production this season was curtailed by an injury that caused him to miss many of October’s games and some in early November. He said it was extremely frustrating to be injured for much of the early going.
“I’ve never missed this many games ever in my career so it’s very new to me, but it did allow me to watch the game from a different perspective,” Moretz said. “I can see all the things that Coach Reagan gets mad at on the bench, which has helped my game because I don’t make those mistakes now – mistakes I often might have made in the past.”
Moretz was healthy and impressed at the SJHL Showcase in Warman in September. It was there that the coaches from RIT started talking to him.
“When I talked to Coach Reagan last year about the type of school I’d like to go to, I had three major things look for. I wanted a very modern style campus. I wanted to get a top-notch education, and I wanted to play Division 1 hockey. With RIT, I get all of those and much more,” Moretz said.
“They are a high-end private school that looks amazing on resumes for jobs in the future,” he said.
Moretz is torn about what he will study, though. He might major in in biochemistry or economics.
“My whole life I’ve always wanted to be a veterinarian,” Moretz said. “I think it’s so cool to be able to diagnose an animal without them being able to tell you what’s wrong. It’s like walking into a crime scene without any information and trying to figure out what happened. But recently I’ve taken some economics related classes and they have really caught my attention because of how little I actually know about our economy. There is so much to the flow of money and how it works in different situations that just blows my mind.”
While RIT is his future, Moretz is committed to helping the Bombers succeed this season. Moretz, who played for a season in Colorado before joining the Bombers, has enjoyed his time in Flin Flon. The people of Flin Flon and their love of the team are one of the aspects that Moretz enjoys most.
“The best part about playing for the Bombers is how crazily involved the community is with the team,” he said. “I love walking through Walmart on a Sunday morning and being stopped by people to say, ‘Good game yesterday,’ or ‘Nice goal.’ That’s something you won’t get anywhere else.”