He’s liking his home away from home.
Kendall Huckins may be from Chicago but he is feeling at home in Sault Ste. Marie.
Huckins, a 1996 birth-year forward, is taking to living away from home and playing for the Batchewana Attack of the new Canadian International Hockey League.
“I love it here. I love living here and playing for the Attack and for a great coach in Denny Lambert,” said the effervescent Huckins on a recent edition of the Hockey North Show that airs on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. on Sault Ste. Marie radio station ESPN 1400. “Coming from Chicago, I did not know what to expect playing for a new team in a new league but it has been great.”
Huckins joined the Batchewana team on the recommendation of Attack president-director of hockey operations David Maciuk, a Sault Ste. Marie native who has player-related business interests in the Chicago area.
“I was looking to play at the junior level and Dave pointed me this way,” said Huckins, who skated for the Chicago Young Americans major midget team in 2013-2014.
“We have a very-good team and like I said, Denny is a great coach who I have learned so much from in such a short period of time,” Huckins continued.
Huckins added that he is impressed with the level of play in the eight-team CIHL.
“We haven’t seen all the teams yet but we have had some really good games with Espanola and St. Charles so far,” said Huckins. “It’s a good league.”
Huckins said the Attack is a close-knit team and being far away from family and friends in Chicago has been made easier by the bonds he has made with his Batchewana teammates.
“The guys on the team all get along, whether they are the local players, the Americans or the guys from Europe,” Huckins noted.
The slender-albeit-hard-edged forward aspires to play at the National Collegiate Athletic Association “at some point” but with considerable eligibility remaining at the junior level, his focus is on the Attack.
“I came here to play junior and to develop as a hockey player and so far it’s all working out,” Huckins concluded. “I am pretty happy with how things are going so far, that’s for sure.”
PHOTO: Kendall Huckins, in action for the Batchewana Attack. (Photo by Ali Pearson.)