Thomas Chaulk focused on building strength to keep up with the big boys

Dave Kearsey
Published on December 29, 2016

Thomas Chaulk, shown during a skate at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex in his hometown of Deer Lake, is working on being bigger and stronger in order to compete against the top players in his quest to play college hockey someday.

©Submitted photo

Thomas Chaulk was all smiles enjoying a day snowmobiling with friends in Deer Lake during the festive season.

It was a great way for him to unwind and enjoy a break from the hectic pace he endures as a rookie forward with the Brockville Tikis of the Central Canada Hockey League 2, where he’s also immersed in his first year of kinesiology studies on the road to being a family doctor one day.

Being home for the holidays was something the 18-year-old was excited about because he doesn’t see people from home very often since he started playing hockey on the mainland.

His weekly routine involves a lot of work in the classroom and non-stop action outside of academics, with two practices per day and three games per week the norm for the Tikis.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s all going well,” Chaulk said recently before taking a run on his snowmobile.

It’s been a busy year, but Chaulk has no qualms about life as a Tiki. He wanted to play hockey at an elite level in an effort to improve his stock so he can earn a spot on a college hockey team, whether in Canada or in the United States.

He believes he has made significant strides in his development, but has no plans to rest on his laurels because he knows he has a lot of work to do and he’s the only one who can control his work ethic in and out of the classroom.

“You can just keep improving all the time, but I feel like I’ve adjusted to the junior level very well,” Chaulk said.

He is only five-foot-six and 160 pounds, so he’s no menacing presence on the ice. This is the area where he knows he must do some work because he’s playing against guys with 20 to 30 pounds on him, and most of the opposing players tower over him.

He plans on being faster to avoid the big bodies closing in on him. He will focus more energy on beefing up so he has the strength to stand up to the physical brand of hockey he finds himself in.

His only focus is being the best player he can be and helping his team earn a playoff berth.

He’s confident he can hold his own and he will be ready to pick up the pace in the second half.

It’s nice to get home and see familiar faces, Chaulk said, but he’s anxious to get back on the ice playing the game he loves.