• Tochkin starts to feel at home with Mavs

  • Kellan Tochkin was one of the new arrivals that Missouri Mavericks coach Scott Hillman relished being a part of his CHL squad this season.

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  • Kellan Tochkin was one of the new arrivals that Missouri Mavericks coach Scott Hillman relished being a part of his CHL squad this season.
    Yet an early-season concussion left the Abbottsford, British Columbia, native on the outside looking in during his first pro season.
    “I went into this season hoping to average a point a game,” Tochkin said Wednesday as he and his teammates took part in a bowling fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity at Strikerz in Independence.
    “I'd had success, and been able to score points, in juniors and I thought I would have success in the CHL. But I got the concussion and went 18 games without a goal – 18 games!
    “That was tough, but now, I'm getting back to where I feel like I am contributing, and now is the time of year you want to be playing your best hockey. We're in a real battle every game to get to the top of the league standings.”
    Tochkin certainly did his part last week as he was named the Oakley Central Hockey League Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 10.
    The 21-year-old forward had multiple-point efforts in three of the Mavs' four games helping his club to a 3-1 record.
    Tochkin scored four goals and had six assists on the week with a plus-5 plus/minus rating. The rookie, assigned to Missouri from the NHL's Vancouver Canucks, now has 11 goals and 15 assists in 36 games this season.
    He started last week off with a goal and an assist in the Mavs' 4-3 win over Quad City and had two other big nights where he scored a goal with three helpers in Friday's 5-2 win over Tulsa and had two goals and two assists in Sunday's win in Bloomington.
    “Toch had an amazing week,” Hillman said. “That's the Tochkin we were excited about coming to Missouri before the start of the season. He has as much talent as any player in this league.”
    His linemate, team captain and CHL legend Sebastien Thinel, says the sky's the limit for the fresh-faced rookie.
    “When I play with Kellan, I feel like I am playing with someone I have played with for years,” said Thinel, the CHL scoring leader with 69 points. “He is so instinctive, and so talented. It's going to be fun to see how far he goes in this sport.”
    The future excites Tochkin, but he is firmly grounded in the present – even though when he was informed that he had been assigned to a team in Independence, he was a bit taken back.
    “I didn't know about Harry Truman and having played in Chicago, I thought that Independence was all guys with mullets and flannel shirts and a chaw in their mouth.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Thankfully, I was wrong. We have the best fans. Just look at how many came to bowl with us tonight at Strikerz.
    “When we played our first game, and I looked out and saw more than 5,000 fans I knew this was the place I wanted to be while I was in the CHL. I love it here, all the guys do, and we're going to do everything we can to bring this town a championship.”

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