By Madison Gummow
Captain of the NAIT Ooks men’s hockey team may have four years of ACAC experience under his belt, but he also has years of experience from his time in the WHL.
Colton Waltz spent three and a half years playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings and finished his last season in the WHL playing for the Saskatchewan Blades. After realizing he wanted to pursue a career in Landscape Architectural Technology, Waltz transferred to NAIT and began playing for the Ooks.
“I wanted to do my schooling because I received a scholarship from the Western Hockey League that allowed me to take advantage of five years of schooling paid for. I am looking to do some hockey after school but I thought it would be a good decision to have some schooling in my back pocket,” said Waltz.
When it comes to comparing the WHL and the ACAC Waltz says one of the main differences is in team mentality.
“When you’re in the WHL a lot of guys are looking for individual success, trying to move to that next level. Whereas in college hockey the stakes aren’t as high so guys are working more for the team than their own futures,” he said.
Another major difference can be found when trying to balance hockey with academics.
“Trying to complete all my school work but also stay focused on hockey is a big challenge. In the WHL I was just focused on hockey which was nice,” said Waltz.
“I try to do both, but it is tough. I definitely love hockey more than I love school so I feel like my efforts probably go that way. But I do try and keep my grades up the best I can.”
In regards to health, diet and working out Waltz hasn’t changed much from his days in the WHL.
“I’d say I train pretty much the same. I just try to eat as good as I can. It just comes down to a time thing, trying to fit in workouts in between class and hockey can be a challenge sometimes,” he said.
Currently, Waltz is playing his third and final year with NAIT. In terms of his hockey future, he is open to any possibilities that will allow him to continue playing the game he loves.
“After this year I plan to see what my options are moving forward. I’d like to take a stab at playing some pro hockey if that’s an opportunity that arises. If not then I’ll move into my career and try to lace up the skates whenever I can.”