Randle Kinswa for The Easterner
Reed Kaiser would title his NHL Hall of Fame speech “For the Love of the Game.”
The 5’8”, 165 lb sophomore forward has loved hockey since he can remember. Kaiser said his first memory of loving hockey was when he was around 3 years old.
“My sister took me to the rink,” Kaiser said. “I remember that she was kinda angry or frustrated that she had to take me.”
Kaiser has been playing hockey since that day at the rink.
Kaiser’s aunt, Yvonne Lofland, said that Kaiser has always been dedicated to hockey.
“(He’s) hockey crazy,” Lofland said. “Everything was hockey with that kid.”
Lofland knew Kaiser was good enough to play college when he was around 15 or 16. Loffland and Kaiser are very close, and she remembers her first memory of Kaiser and his love for hockey.
“When he was two or three he got a hockey stick out of a cereal box,” said Lofland. “He was playing with it and he thought he was so smart.”
When asked about Kaiser’s personality, Lofland had many great things to say of her nephew.
“He’s got a great soul,” said Lofland. “His sense of humor is lovely, he loved his dogs … he has a very tender soul.”
EWU head coach Greg Sherman had many compliments for Kaiser’s work ethic.
“He is always the first one on the ice at practice,” Sherman said. “He’s injured right now, he got injured at North Dakota (Ice Breaker Showcase), and he still is out on the ice helping me set up nets for this morning’s practice.”
Sherman complimented Kaiser’s skating ability and toughness.
“He’s a great skater, sees the ice very well,” Sherman said. “Drives at the net like there is no tomorrow … he is a tough player, but the big guys can definitely take advantage of his size as well.”
Teammate and fellow roommate of Kaiser, sophomore forward and assistant captain Mitch Hunt, also commented on the Wyoming native’s work ethic.
“(He’s) ready to play,” Hunt said. “Always eager to get on the ice. He is always ready to go, the first one on the ice, and pushes himself to be better.”
Hunt described Kaiser as a hockey savant.
“Chill guy,” Hunt said. “Likes to have his fun, but strictly business … at home he is just hockey, hockey, hockey.”
“(Kaiser) drives at the net like there is no tomorrow.” – EWU head coach Greg Sherman
Senior captain Zac Mindermann raved about the talent that Kaiser has.
“He can do things with the puck that I could only dream to do,” Mindermann said.
Sherman thinks highly of Kaiser’s hockey IQ and awareness.
“He’s been taught to play the game right,” Sherman said.
Sherman also commented on Kaiser’s greatest strengths.
“His feet are his biggest attribute,” said Sherman. “He’s got really good hands as well … He can skate fast and can handle the puck really well at high speeds.”
Hunt said that Kaiser is fitting in well with the team.
“He always puts them first,” Hunt said. “He never looks at himself and says oh I got to do this, he always looks at everyone else and says what can I do to make it better, on and off the ice … ever since the day he came and said ‘can I be your roommate?’ He fits right in with all the boys. He’s not like that odd man out.”
Kaiser sustained an upper body injury this past weekend at the IceBreaker Showcase and will be unable to play this weekend. It is unknown how long he’ll be out.
Kaiser will instead be on the bench rooting on his teammates, when EWU (2-4) takes on the Oregon Ducks (2-0) in a two-game series. The puck drops for the first game Friday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. at the URC.