📝 by Alex Thomas | AHL On The Beat
In case you had been to take a look at a Hartford Wolf Pack recreation at any level this fall, you’ll have observed ample new faces within the lineup for the membership in comparison with the staff that completed the marketing campaign final April.
You additionally would have observed a 6-foot-8, 240-pound ahead wreaking havoc on the forecheck and making a reputation for himself on a nightly foundation.
That tower of a human? That may be Matt Rempe, a rookie ahead donning the quantity 32 throughout his first skilled season in Hartford.
A sixth-round choose of the New York Rangers throughout the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Rempe has spent the primary two months of his rookie marketing campaign adjusting from life within the Western Hockey League to life within the skilled ranks.
“It’s totally different,” Rempe stated. “In juniors, you’re lining up towards guys your personal age or youthful. Right here, you’re lining up towards grown males on a nightly foundation.”
Irrespective of who he’s lining up towards, Rempe isn’t intimidated. The Calgary, Alta., native has rapidly made a reputation for himself within the cities that home Atlantic Division groups within the American Hockey League. Rempe leads the Wolf Pack with 4 preventing majors this season, together with two terrific tilts towards Hershey’s Dylan McIlrath and Windfall’s Nick Wolff.
“Each evening I wish to play with an edge and be onerous to play towards,” Rempe stated. “I wish to construct a troublesome popularity.”
Don’t be mistaken, nevertheless. There may be way more to Rempe than his dimension. He scored his first professional purpose again on Nov. 16 and has rapidly carved out a job in head coach Kris Knoblauch’s ahead group.
“I’m positively feeling extra snug,” Rempe stated. “I’ve been getting acclimated to the league and to taking part in professional hockey. I’m doing no matter I can each recreation to deliver vitality. I simply wish to get higher day-after-day and study as a lot as I can.”
Rempe doesn’t simply discuss the discuss. Absorb a Wolf Pack apply on the XL Heart and also you’ll discover that Rempe is routinely one of many final gamers off the ice every day. The rookie takes on a regular basis he can to work on his recreation, to stroll the stroll of getting higher day-after-day.
“I’ve at all times tried to be a hard-working child,” Rempe stated. “I believe that stems from competing towards my older twin sisters (Steph and Alley) rising up. Each of them performed NCAA Division I hockey at Brown, so I used to be at all times making an attempt to maintain up with them. My mom can be the toughest working particular person I do know and is a superb function mannequin to look as much as.”
It’s not simply onerous work for the sake of onerous work, nevertheless. Rempe is aware of that it’s all a part of the event course of that he hopes will someday lead him down the freeway to Madison Sq. Backyard, the place former Wolf Pack gamers like Chris Kreider and Igor Shesterkin at the moment are.
“Coming into my first yr of professional hockey at 20 years previous, it’s a quick league with tons of expert gamers,” Rempe stated. “I’m very lucky to have numerous nice assets each right here in Hartford and from the Rangers. My purpose is to make the most of these assets and do all the pieces I can to get higher day-after-day.”
Rempe will proceed placing within the work day-after-day, seeking to hone his expertise and additional develop as a participant. He’s additionally goal-oriented, and already is aware of what he hopes to perform within the season’s ultimate 50 video games.
“The remainder of the season, my purpose is to proceed to develop as a participant and study as a lot as I can,” Rempe proclaimed. “I wish to get 1 p.c higher day-after-day, and work as onerous as I can. I wish to maintain incomes respect from my teammates and different gamers within the league, and assist our staff win some video games.”