Carter Cochrane celebrates his first goal of the season

Welcome back Carter

The Chilliwack Chiefs have brought back dynamic defender Carter Cochrane after he was cut loose by the WHL's Tri City Americans.

During the second period of Wednesday night’s Chilliwack Chiefs 6-0 drubbing of Surrey, Carter Cochrane made his presence felt.

Picking up the puck deep in his own end, the 19 year old blueliner turned on the jets and set his sights on the Eagles net.

Few D-men in the BCHL can get from one end of the rink to the other faster than the Kamloops kid, and this rush ended in a blink behind the Surrey cage.

Seconds later, teammate Ryan Roseboom walked out from behind the net and deposited the puck behind Jake LaForest for the fourth Chilliwack goal.

This is the sort of thing Cochrane can provide to the Chiefs — dynamic offence from a guy who doesn’t just join the rush but often leads it, playing like a fourth forward.

The question is, will Chiefs bench boss Jason Tatarnic give Cochrane the green light to do his thing?

“I don’t know if it’s a green light right now. Maybe a yellow light,” Cochrane laughed. “I think the way I play, I’ll take whatever I can get. Jason will probably say he’s got to rein me in a bit.”

“At the end of the day I’m trying to do the job in the defensive zone first. If I can chip in offensively that’s great.”

Cochrane last played in Chilliwack in 2013-14, before departing to the Western Hockey League.

He split parts of two season between the Everett Silvertips and Tri-City Americans.

Since he was last here his old coach, Harvey Smyl, is gone.

Everyone else too, except…

“Just Gooch (captain Jordan Kawaguchi), that’s it,” Cochrane said. “I texted him to tell him I was coming back. He was disappointed when I left and really excited to have me back because we’re pretty tight.”

Not everything has changed since Cochrane last called Prospera Centre home.

“Everywhere I look in the crowd I’m seeing fans I recognize,” he said. “They’re the best fans in the league hands down and it was nice feeling really welcome.”

Injuries hastened Cochrane’s departure from the WHL, but Tatarnic believes the defenceman is healthy and capable of being a true impact player.

“He’s got offensive instincts and I think we’re going to give him some freedom,” the coach noted. “As time goes on he’ll have to learn when the right spots are and when the wrong spots are.”

“But he seems to be a very coachable kid and this could be a fresh outlook for him.”

Cochrane has one goal through three games and goes hunting for more this weekend in a key divisional home-and-home.

His Chiefs are in Langley Friday night to face the Rivermen, playing the return match Saturday night at Prospera Centre.

Puck drop is 7 p.m.

See chilliwackchiefs.net or bchl.ca.

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