Kelvin Walz has collected 10 points through this season's first 10 games. Credit: St. Mary's University Sports Information Office.
It would be hard to find a hockey player who, as a youngster, did not dream of one day playing in the National Hockey League.
Pick-up hockey games all across the country—whether at a local arena, a backyard rink, or a frozen pond—feature kids pretending to be Wayne Gretzky, Alexander Ovechkin or Patrick Kane.
They idolize those NHLers in much the same fashion so many youngsters idolize their fathers.
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Kelvin Walz and Jacob Tugnutt were no different growing up. Only their National Hockey League heroes really were their fathers.
"I have always looked up to my dad. He has been my role model since Day 1," said Kelvin Walz, whose dad Wes played for five different teams during his 13 years in the NHL. "From the moment I first picked up a hockey stick, I fell in love with the sport. To be able to watch my dad play night-in and night-out—at that level of hockey—was awesome."
Jake Tugnutt could not agree more.
"It was amazing growing up with a father playing the NHL," said Jake, whose father Ron enjoyed a 16-year NHL career with eight teams. "I had the chance to live in a bunch of big cities, and I had the pleasure of meeting some really nice guys in the hockey community along the way.
"I was always very proud of what my dad had accomplished, and growing up—when I was in goal—I used to do my dad's routine during warm-ups," he added. "I had the opportunity to play as a goalie in the last game of the season for my youth league team when I was 5 years old. Since that moment, I never wanted to play any other position.
"I wanted to be just like my dad."
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