New Chilliwack Chief Cole Donhauser in action last season with Nichols School in Buffalo.

Chilliwack Chiefs add skilled forward Cole Donhauser

The 19 year old will be one and done in Chilliwack, moving on to Yale University in 2019-20.

The Chilliwack Chiefs have secured the services of a future Yale Lion.

New York native Cole Donhauser is joining the junior A team for the 2018-19 season, looking to spend one season in the BCHL before jumping to the NCAA ranks.

“A couple of my friends, Jake Smith and Matt Slick, played for Chilliwack and all I have heard is amazing things about the fans and the town,” the 19 year old said. “I’m extremely excited to be coming to a team that has such great support from its community, making it fun for the players and the fans.”

It was the Smith connection that first got Donhauser looking at the Chiefs.

“Jake (Smith) played at Nichols (prep school in Buffalo), which is where I’ve played the last four years, and I played with him a lot as we grew up together,” Donhauser explained. “Jake’s dad helped coach us at Nichols, and when I asked both of them about Chilliwack they had nothing but great things to say.

They thought it would be a great fit and I felt the same. I knew I wanted to go to the BCHL and I figured Chilliwack was the spot.”

But…

There was the small problem of an abrupt coaching change in early May, with the Chiefs firing head coach Jason Tatarnic just before the RBC Cup.

Tatarnic was the man who reached out to Donhauser in February, and his sudden departure could have changed the teenager’s plans.

But followup phone calls to Smith and Matt Slick reassured Donhauser that Chilliwack was still the place to be.

“I played house-league with Matt (Slick) and we went to travel tournaments together, up until about peewee, and we’ve seen each other around Buffalo,” Donhauser said. “Matt was there (with the Chiefs) last year, and he said he likes the situation just as much, or even better, with coach (Brian) Maloney being hired, so I felt pretty comfortable sticking with my decision.”

Maloney is comfortable with that too.

“Cole is a very smart two way player that comes with great work ethic,” the coach said. “Jake Smith and his family spoke very highly of Cole and if he has just half of the character that Jake brought to the Chiefs then Cole will fit in nicely with our young core.”

Listed at five-foot-11 and 170 pounds on eliteprospects.com, Donhauser captained his Nichols team last year and put up excellent numbers.

He scored 32 goals and racked up 68 points in 56 games.

“I have a good shot with a really quick release, and I use that to open up my hands,” Donhauser said. “I like to compare my game to how you saw Alexander Ovechkin play during the playoffs. I’m not afraid to use my body while either scoring or creating scoring chances for my teammates.

“I’d say hockey IQ is one of my biggest attributes. I have really good vision and it helps me not only scoring but getting my teammates on the scoreboard.”

Donhauser was a defenceman up to his Grade 8 year before switching to forward.He’s happier up front, but the experience on D has given him a good feel for both ends of the ice.

“I always had pretty good hands and I wasn’t the greatest defenceman, so when I made that switch it really benefited me,” Donhauser said. “And I can still play D on the power play.”

As for what needs work, Donhauser said what every player says about needing to get bigger, stronger and faster.

“I’d say I need to work on my first three strides and my acceleration, and that’s my key focus right now,” he said. “My individual goal for next season will be to get stronger and faster to prepare myself for going on to Yale.”

Just Posted

Sarah Wark faces do-or-die match at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Wark’s rink will face Manitoba Thursday morning with a championship pool berth on the line.

Chilliwack Chief Kevin Wall nominated for BCHL awards

Wall is in the running for MVP and top rookie, and will find out if he’s won before the playoffs.

Permaculture group planning a seed swap

The AGM is Feb. 23 for Valley Permaculture Guild members

Chilliwack-Kent MLA unimpressed with ‘classic NDP high-tax-and-spend budget’

Laurie Throness said there was nothing in Tuesday’s presentation for Chilliwack

Effort to move Chilliwack heritage house on Maitland falls through

Next up is an open house where interested parties can purchase heritage elements from the developer

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Most Read