The Portland Winterhawks are a young team this season and with that comes opportunity for their younger players to get more ice time. For rookie Kyle Chyzowski, he’s excited to get going in his first WHL season. From 2017 to 2021 he played at Delta Hockey Academy in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL). In his 2018-19 season in his U15 season he compiled 43 points in 30 games with 16 goals and 27 assists. In the three playoff games that season he collected one goal and two assists for three points. In the pandemic shortened 2019-20 season he collected five points in 11 games with two goals and three assists. This year before coming to Portland, he played four games in the CSSHL and collected a single point with a goal.
Chyzowski explained his decision to sign with Portland citing family friends and how they talked up Portland.
“I heard from a couple other guys who got family who used to play in the WHL and still do, they just said like this is the best organization and it’s as close to pro hockey as you can get,” Chyzowski said.
What Chyzowski brings to the team and more
He touched on the coaches in Portland and how they push players to get to the next level. When it comes to his skillset, Chyzowski talked about how Portland is known to be a quick team and how he fits right into that. When it comes to his quickness, Chyzowski mentioned how he can be quick on the forecheck. He also explained how he’s able to play both sides of the ice and be a two way forward.
While this season brings with it the knowledge that Portland won’t be playing teams outside the US Division, Chyzowski is ready to go. Once the WHL has a normal season, Chyzowski is looking forward to play against some of the best.
“I’m most looking forward to playing against some of the best players in Western Canada and around the world,” Chyzowski said. “I mean this is the best league to be in at my age and for the next three, four years so exciting to take this next step and see all these awesome players.”
Rivalries, big games and other notes
When I asked Chyzowski about rivalry matchups and specific games he’s looking forward to, he touched on a couple. A native of Surrey, BC he grew up an Oilers fan because of his dad’s fandom. He explained how his dad’s fandom showed him the way and how he just followed the path. When it comes to games against the Vancouver Giants and Edmonton Oil Kings, he thinks those games for his family will definitely a lot more meaning.
“Yeah they will, I think they definitely will, it’ll be cool to have my family down there too,” Chyzowski said.
Chyzowski also touched on Portland’s rivalry with the Seattle Thunderbirds and the intensity of it.
“I heard the rivalry between Portland and Seattle is pretty big so I’m excited for those games, especially once we get the fans back,” Chyzowski said.
Chyzowski also touched on his personal goals for the season. He explained how he needs to become more comfortable playing in the WHL. He said to get into his own he’ll need to start having more self-confidence.
“That’s one thing as a young guy coming in, it’s not easy to kind of play your game,” Chyzowski said.
He touched on how the skill let went up a lot more in the WHL and how other guys are better than what he used to play against.
“I think as it goes on longer I want to have better self-confidence and just play my type of game more,” Chyzowski said.