The Chiefs selected defenseman Zac Robins of the Weyburn Wings in the fourth round (80th overall) of the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft. Robins will participate in his first Chiefs Training Camp this August and be eligible to play for Spokane full time starting with the 2018-19 regular season.
We chatted with Zac about his draft experience, background and excitement about becoming a Chief for this Q&A.
Q: What was draft day like for you? What was your reaction to being selected by the Chiefs?
ZR: I was watching the draft in class but got my phone taken away, so I borrowed a friend’s phone and pretended it was a calculator. When I got drafted I was so excited, we all started hooting and hollering. It was fun.
My step-brother is Cordel Larson. He went to camp last year so that made it even better. He made it sound like a great place. (Editor’s note: Larson is a 2001-born forward who was the Chiefs’ ninth round [186th overall] pick in the 2016 bantam draft.)
Q: How would you describe your style of play? Are there any professional players you try to emulate?
ZR: I’m an offensive defenseman. I like to rush the puck and join the rush. I have a pretty good shot, I think. I like joining the forwards and creating chances.
I like Brent Burns, just the way he plays. I also like Shea Weber’s aggressiveness and try to play like that.
Q: What are your biggest strengths on the ice?
ZR: Skating is my biggest strength. I think I can usually get my shot through and avoid shin pads, too, which helps create those chances on offense.
Q: You wore the “C” for Weyburn last season. What does it mean to you to be a captain and what makes you a good leader?
ZR: I like talking a lot in the dressing room, getting the boys going and pumped up even if we’re not playing too well. I wore an “A” last year as my first year in bantam. I’m pretty vocal and take pride in bringing guys up when they’re down.
Q: In what area did you make your biggest improvement last year?
ZR: I probably made biggest improvements in my confidence in joining the rush and getting into that part of the game. I used to be more defensive and getting that confidence helped open some opportunities. My coaches told me I was a good enough skater to join the rush so they encouraged me to try more often.
Q: Did you know anything about the Chiefs or Spokane before being drafted?
ZR: I talked to (Chiefs’ scout) Mark Penny a few times when he came to games and filled out the prospect Q&A. Other than that, not much.
Q: Have you ever been to Spokane or to the U.S.?
ZR: I’ve been to Minot, North Dakota and Minneapolis (Minnesota). Never to Spokane.
Q: Does anyone else in your family play hockey or other sports? Are you the best athlete in the family?
ZR: My younger sister (12) plays hockey and is a forward. My dad scouted for the Estevan Bruins (SJHL). My mom played ringette; it’s a lot like hockey but with rings and you don’t have a blade on your stick.
Q: What’s your nickname?
Q: What do you like to do with your spare time or for fun?
ZR: I like to golf and ride my bike around town. Pretty normal stuff.
Q: What are your goals for your first training camp? What are you most excited about?
ZR: I’m really excited to get the whole experience on and off the ice, see the city and meet the players and coaches. I’m excited to see the rink, too.
Thanks to Zac for chatting with us. Come see him on the ice at the Chiefs’ Annual Training Camp at Spokane Arena in late August. Details, including ice sessions and scrimmage schedule, will be announced at a later date.
Ticket packages for the Spokane Chiefs’ 2017-18 season are on sale now with affordable multi-game options as low as $70! For more information or to purchase, visit the Chiefs’ Ticket Office at Spokane Arena, call 509-535-PUCK or click here.