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Looking back at Cole Caufield’s ‘crazy’ career at SPASH

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 6:43 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - Before Cole Caufield was playing in the NHL, he was lighting the lamp for SPASH, turning everybody’s head along the way.

“As soon as I stepped on the ice with him, you could just tell that he was pretty crazy,”Caufield’s former teammate Barrett Brooks said.

Caufield has had a long list of accomplishments in the past six months. He won gold medal with the world junior’s team, he made the NCAA tournament with the Badgers and later won the Hobey Baker Award with over 30 goals and made his NHL debut with the Montreal Canadiens Monday.

But long before that, the journey of number eight was at K.B. Willet Arena.

“He would do things on the ice and I would sit on the bench and be like ‘wow, did that really happen,’” SPASH head coach Brandon Busse said.

Dayne Hoyord played alongside Caufield and Brooks to make up the first line on the 2017 Panthers. The three would practice together constantly, but Caufield was always doing something.

“He was always, trying new things. Things that no one would ever even think about trying,” Hoyord said.

He scored 75 regular season goals in those two seasons, with a total of 145 points

“Crazy, honestly crazy. It was more just get him the puck because he was either going to find you or he was going to find the back of the net,” Brooks said.

He was as motivated as they come, and he constantly taught himself new tricks.

“He’s pretty much our coach, pretty much, I mean our coach was on the ice but he would run drills,” Hoyrord said.

Critics used to call him too small. Those with the SPASH program knew the size wouldn’t make a difference.

“He speaks for himself. He’s able to prove everyone wrong,” Busse said.

While videos posted on social media dazzle hockey fans, Hoyord and Brooks are never surprised.

“Everyone’s just like ‘oh, that’s so crazy and whatever.’ And [Hoyord] and I are just like, ‘we see that all the time,’” Brooks said.

His ability on the ice is matched by few, but his personality leaves a positive impression on teammates, coaches and friends.

“He loves being on the ice. He always smiles on the ice,” Brooks said.

“From the first time I saw him when he was 10 or 11 years old, the same smile. Same charisma on and off the ice,” Busse said.

Now he’s accomplished a dream he’s had since he was in 1st grade by playing in the NHL. He’s smiling wide in while playing in a place he calls home---the rink

“It doesn’t matter where he is. He could be in Montreal as long as he’s at the rink every day. He loves it,” Brooks said.

You can listen to the full interview with Brooks and Hoyord on the Hilight Zone Podcast below.

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