Former PHL'er Wilkie enjoying time with USNDTP | North American Prospects Hockey League | NAPHL
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Former PHL'er Wilkie enjoying time with USNDTP

September 25, 2012

By Becky Olsen

National Team Development Program Under-17 and former NAPHL forward Chris Wilkie might have had a head start on hockey.

In 1992, the Montreal Canadiens selected Wilkie’s dad, David Wilkie, 20th in that year’s NHL Draft. Growing up, Chris Wilkie remembers learning from his dad’s professional experience, which included six seasons in the NHL as well as time in the American Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League.

“I liked being around the game and down in the locker room with my dad and all the players,” Wilkie said of why he started hockey. “I have always loved it. I remember being in the locker room and going out and skating with them after practices.”

David has had a big influence on Chris, who started skating when he was just 2 years old. More than anything, David has been Chris’ teacher.

“He has been there and he knows what it takes,” Chris said. “He has always taught me what it takes to get to the next level. That definitely helps to have someone with that experience of being there. He has been a good teacher to help me get through my career.”

Of course, there were some words of advice from father to son as Chris moved away from home in Omaha, Neb. to play for USA Hockey at the NTDP in Ann Arbor.

“Work hard. Prove myself. Never stop competing. Never give up,” Wilkie remembered his father saying.

For Wilkie, the first Nebraska native to join the NTDP, the transition from Midget hockey  with the Omaha AAA Lancers 16U team of the NAPHL to the NTDP has been going pretty smooth. The workouts are tough, he said, but at the same time, he knew what was expected of him. The biggest adjustment, he said, has been the speed of the game.

Read the rest of the story here.


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