Twenty-year-old Waterloo native, Chase Campbell, has always dreamed of lacing up for the Kitchener Rangers—especially for the Remembrance Day game.
“I remember attending Kitchener’s Remembrance Day games as a kid and thinking they always had the coolest commemorative jerseys,” smiled Chase. “Remembrance Day means a little more to me now than when I was younger, I didn’t fully understand it quite as much, but I remember hoping I could wear one of those jerseys myself one day. To have the opportunity to use this platform to pay tribute our veterans is a huge honour.”
Chase had a bit of a tour around the OHL, playing for Sarnia, Ottawa and Owen Sound before getting the call from Kitchener this season. Chase was drafted in the third round by the Sarnia Sting in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection. He still remembers the moment to this day.
“It was a long time ago,” laughed Chase. “I remember I was sitting with my brother and it came down to multiple picks from teams where I thought I was going to go and none of them called my name. Then I heard my first name, and I guess Chase is an uncommon name, so without even hearing my last name called my brother, and I both jumped up and started celebrating. It was pretty surreal.”
The OHL experience Chase has gained is invaluable to the Rangers locker room. He has played in big markets like Ottawa, where you have to compete with the pro teams, all the way to Owen Sound where fans look forward to coming to the rink every Saturday night. He’s seen it all.
“I think some of the younger guys look to me for guidance,” said Chase. “I have been through a lot of adversity in five years. Most of the things that these guys are going through I have dealt with. I am happy to be a helping hand for the young guys.”
The importance of a positive vet in any dressing room is a huge factor in the success of a team—especially when a team is struggling.
“When you’re losing games and not scoring a lot of goals you just have to set aside the whole hockey aspect, look back and just think to yourself why you play the sport,” said Chase. “You have to come in with a mindset that you’re going to have fun every day. That doesn’t mean you get to come in and not care, you have to care, but with caring comes fun. Tides will turn.”
Well, the tides have turned, and leading the way was none other than Chase, who contributed two goals on the Rangers’ Tuesday-night victory over the Peterborough Petes.
Coming off a big team win, brought a lot of energy into The Aud on Friday night, but Chase wants his teammates and all the fans to remember why we are all here—Remembrance Day.
“I think it is important to honour Remembrance Day everywhere, no matter your platform. If you look in the past, they were the ones who fought for our freedom and they still do,” said Chase. “These men and women put their lives on the line day in and day out. I have the utmost respect, and it is a humbling experience to honour them here at The Aud.”
Chase knows the importance of using his platform for the greater good. As a kid, Chase may not have felt the full importance of Remembrance Day, but that isn’t the case now.
“For us, we get to go out every day and play a sport that we love and sometimes that gets taken for granted. We have to show our gratitude to our fallen soldiers who go to bat for us and have fought for our freedom.”