Last year, Kory Chisholm battled his way onto the Arizona State hockey team and earned his spot as a starting forward and special teams expert throughout the season. Linemate Troy Scott even considered him the team's scrappiest player and for rightful reasons.
Despite coach Greg Powers bringing in more talent on offense this summer, Chisholm is confident that he can win his spot again this season thanks to last season's late heroics.
"The chemistry with Bowen and Scott was very good at the end of the season last year," Chisholm said. "This chemistry has seemed to carry over to this season quite well and I hope that it continues into the beginning of this season."
Powers is not afraid to experiment with different line combinations, but if the sophomore does not win a starting role on the top four lines, fans better believe he will contribute to the penalty kill.
"On the penalty kill, it is the small details that makes one effective. I am able to use proper body and stick positioning to deflect passes and shots directed toward the net and other opponents. My agility and resilience as well is a key factor in being effective in penalty kill situations," Chisholm said.
Chisholm proves that sometimes simple is better. His nonstop energy and defensive style of play benefits this Sun Devil team because he can be called on to skate in different scenarios. The 5-foot-9 left-handed shooter accepts that his talents are best utilized on the PK because it is a natural fit for his persistence on the ice.
"I am willing to fulfill any role on the team," Chisholm stated. "Penalty killing is something I have been doing for a long period of time and it is a very key position. I enjoy playing an important role on the team in order to win games."
Last season, Chisholm recorded three goals and four assists in 31 games. The Saskatchewan native is not expected to score every night, but he brings a punch that causes other teams to collapse because they cannot keep up with Chisholm and the rest of his line.
"Every day I bring energy and resilience to the rink. I am a very tenacious player, and make it very difficult for opponents to play against me," Chisholm said.
The winger has the speed and aggressiveness to wear down his opponents, but this offseason he spent a portion of his time preparing to take on a larger role for ASU on both the penalty kill and fourth line.
"This summer I spent a lot of time on the ice and in the gym to prepare for the season. I worked a lot of my leg power and stick handling abilities," Chisholm said.
Typically it takes a full year for players to adjust and bulk up in collegiate hockey, but Chisholm made his presence known throughout the year. Now that Chisholm found more confidence and stronger moves, opponents should be wary whenever the forward steps foot on the ice because he has that game-changing mentality.