One of Lacombe Minor Hockey’s recent success story has decided to take his talents to Drumheller this season.
Adam Heindel, a defenceman who played with the Red deer AAA Optimist Chiefs last year, is hoping his time with the junior A Drumheller Dragons will help propel him towards a collegiate hockey career.
Heindel said he chose to joint he Dragons after head coach Kevin Hasselberg came to his house
“He came over and we chatted about what the value of playing with the Drumheller Dragons and where he sees I could be a in few years. I thought that would be a good place to start my junior career,” Heindel said.
Heindel believes it was his experience with the Chiefs that prepared him for the next step in junior.
“The atmosphere of midget AAA helped me into my junior career,” he said. “It made the transition a lot smoother. I couldn’t imagine playing junior without midget AAA experience. The games are fast and the pace was good. The coaching was as serious and passionate as it is at this level.
“The big part is how many games you are playing and I think playing for the Chiefs really made the transition easier.”
Prior to playing for the Chiefs, Heindel was a big part of Lacombe Minor Hockey.
“I was with the Rockets up until it was changed to the Selects,” he said. “That was in my second year of Bantam. Matt Williams was the head coach of that team and we ended up winning the north banner. We weren’t able to get the league final win, but it was definitely a fun, good building year.
“I wouldn’t have been able to play AAA without that experience. The coaching was so good with the Selects.”
Heindel hopes he can parlay his junior career into an NCAA hockey scholarship.
“I think education is really important and if I can get my education paid for, that would be a pretty sweet step in my hockey career,” he said.
One way he could do that is by scoring more goals from the blue line — a part of his game he felt he wasn’t able to showcase in midget.
“I think I am more of an offensive-defenceman,” he said. I like to jump up in the play when I can. I know last year, it was a bit more tough to be the offensive character I like to usually play as because the coaching was a bit different.
“This year with Kevin, he says, ‘As long as you play good defence — you can play good offence’. We are let loose and do what we want on offence. When the defensive part of the game comes in, we have to know what we are doing and he is there to help us with that.”
He added he wants to, “Improve on being able to control guys in the corner — being able to pin the taller, stronger guys and just playing good defence.”