Last updated: March 22. 2014 11:03PM - 2958 Views
By - tvenesky@timesleader.com

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By the time a player reaches the AHL or NHL, they have already achieved a lot in their careers and made plenty of memories along the way. Each week, we’ll sit down with one of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and talk about some of the memorable “firsts” they’ve had during their careers, ranging from their first time on skates to their first goal as a pro.

Player: Chuck Kobasew

Age: 31

Position: Right wing

Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia

Years pro: 12

First time on skates: “I remember going to public skate when I was 7. I had a pair of plastic skates and I enjoyed it. I got into some skating lessons after that.”

First team: “It was minor hockey in north Vancouver. Shaw Cable was the sponsor of our team. We didn’t get free cable but we got our game on television once a month. That was pretty cool for a little kid.”

First coach that influenced you: “I had some really good coaches over the years and it’s hard to single out just one. My parents were there to make the sacrifices the entire time, so I’d have to say they were my earliest influence.”

First goal that you remember: “My first NHL goal was a neat experience. I grew up in the Vancouver area and I scored during a game in Vancouver when I was with Calgary. My family and friends were there, so that made it a special experience.”

First time you won anything in hockey: “We won the equivalent of a state championship when I was playing minor hockey, so that was a fun experience.”

First time hockey took you away from home: “I was 16 when I left to go play in junior. It was a bit of an adjustment, but I had a really good billet family and they made it a smooth transition. I wasn’t too far from home either, so it wasn’t that difficult.”

First pro contract: “I still remember the day. It was a special moment for me to sign that contract, it it didn’t mean I made the NHL. I still had to work to get there, but that was one step of starting my pro career.”

First time you faced adversity in your hockey career: “A number of times. It makes you stronger, whether that’s someone telling you you’re too small or not good enough. Whatever it is, you get that fire inside to prove them wrong. Adversity motivates you.”

— Tom Venesky

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