Chris Schutz, forward for the Dallas Ice Jets, turned 19 years old on June 1, 2014, but his birthday present wouldn't come until later.
Schutz says he was driving on June 3, 2014 when he received a call from his brother informing him he was drafted to the NAHL's Topeka Roadrunners. Schutz was drafted 70th overall in the third round of the NAHL Entry Draft.
"I felt very excited to get the opportunity," says Schutz. "I'm appreciative and can't wait."
The 19-year-old Schutz, 6'0" 185 lbs, Fort Worth, Texas, native, has been playing ice hockey since he was eight. Schutz has been with the Ice Jets organization since age 13, but this was his first year on the junior team. The versatile Schutz can play both center and wing, he led the Ice Jets last season with, 42 goals and 34 assists for a total of 76 points. Schutz was able to play all 46 regular season games for the Ice Jets before they went onto the playoffs, where he scored three goals and one assist. Schutz was fortunate enough to play for the Wichita Falls Wildcats in late October, and again in late November. He had no recorded goals during his five game run with the team but received his first taste of NAHL hockey.
Head coach Scott Langer spoke briefly about his new draft pick in an article written by the Topeka RoadRunners writing staff.
"Chris is a very skilled forward that adds speed and skill to our lineup," Langer declared. "He is a very dedicated athlete that is a good fit for our organization. He's excited to become a part of the RoadRunner family."
Tryouts begin July 10th, Schutz is preparing for this at home in Texas. He has remarked that he is ready for this opportunity and hopes to make the team.
"I'm going to do everything in my power to make the team," says Schutz.
Needless to say the young forward has a birthday to remember and many cheering him on back home at the Polar Ice House, in Granpevine, Texas.
Story and photo by Njeri Sims. Njeri Sims is a video editor, writer, and photographer living in Dallas.
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