Former Flin Flon Bomber Chris Rauckman has set an example that other players can follow, his coach said.
After aging out of junior hockey, Rauckman experienced some hockey challenges. However, with a strong work ethic, he has now established himself as an important player in his second season for the University of Calgary men’s hockey team.
“Don’t give up if you love the game… Keep working hard,” Dinos head coach Mark Howell said of what others could learn from Rauckman.
This season Rauckman has nine goals and 12 points in 25 games. That surpasses the six goals and nine points he posted in 23 games last season.
“He has played really well. He is a player who has an unbelievable work ethic, focus and preparation,” said Howell, who noted that Rauckman creates offensive opportunities with speed and tenacity.
Although he does not wear a letter, Rauckman is a part of the Dinos’ leadership group.
“He is such a good leader for our team because he plays so hard,” Howell said.
A Red Deer product, Rauckman has been having fun playing and studying at the U of C.
“What I enjoy most is the winning attitude that comes with being a part of playing for the Dinos,” he said. “It is like no other team I have been a part of before and losing is just something we do not accept. This has been apparent throughout the continuous winning seasons the Dinos have as an organization.”
Rauckman is studying education. He plans on being an elementary school teacher.
“I find I am good with kids that age so I think it would be something I would enjoy doing,” he said.
After playing two years with the Drumheller Dragons in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, Rauckman was acquired by the Bombers in 2014 as part of the future considerations in the trade of goalie Devin Buffalo. Rauckman had 39 goals and 64 points in 56 games as a Bomber.
“I always enjoyed playing at the Whitney Forum,” he said. “Our home crowd was what made playing in Flin Flon so enjoyable. Being able to play in a rink and town that has so much hockey history was just an amazing experience and you really felt the support of the town behind you.”
Rauckman moved on to the University of Prince Edward Island. After a season there, he returned to his home province and played senior hockey for the Lacombe Generals. Rauckman helped them win the Chinook Hockey League championship and make it to the prestigious Allan Cup, Canada’s national AAA senior championship.
“The Allan Cup was one of the best hockey experiences I have had,” Rauckman said. “It taught me so much about the game. Playing with guys who have so many years of experience in pro hockey showed me a different aspect of how to approach the game and it helped me develop as a player immensely.”
Rauckman returned to school and university sports for the 2017-18 season. On a deep U of C team, he did not crack the lineup for some games. Howell praised Rauckman for not complaining, for sticking with it, and continuing to work hard. That has all paid off for him this season.