Watch above: Derek Hulak came home with the Calder Cup after a spring not soon forgotten
SASKATOON – It was a whirlwind spring for former University of Saskatchewan hockey player Derek Hulak, one he is soon not to forget.
Hulak and the Huskies fell short in their attempt to capture the University Cup at the March tournament played in Saskatoon, capturing silver.
He was named most valuable player of the tournament to go along with his Canada West MVP honour.
Days after the tournament ended, he was in Sacramento suiting up for the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League.
His first game with the Stars was memorable.
“It was my first AHL game and it happened to be on the seventh anniversary of my mother’s passing. To get into my first game and score on my second shift in a game like that knowing how special that day was already made it that more special,” said Hulak.
The puck is now safe in storage in Hulak’s room but it was not the only momento the former Huskies and Saskatoon Blades star brought home.
He also came back with the Calder Cup the Stars won as AHL champions.
“After being there for a few months, it’s a tremendous honour to win a trophy of this magnitude and bring it back to share with everyone here,” said Hulak.
“I loved the time I had there, the Texas Stars made me feel like a part of the team right off the bat.”
So much so that the Stars, the affiliate for the Dallas Stars, are bringing him back for the 2014-15 season, keeping Hulak’s NHL dream alive.
“You sit in the dressing room, you look across at the guys, they’re at practice one day and the next day their gear is gone and they’re up in the NHL,” said Hulak.
“I guess realizing how close you are to that dream definitely adds a little more fuel into the fire.”
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