When Duck Bay's Daniel Chartrand first laced up his skates as a young boy, his goal was to play Jr. A hockey. Chartrand got that chance when he made his debut with the Dauphin Kings in the 2015-16 season.
Then, after three years of Jr. A hockey, Chartrand's new goal was he wanted to play college hockey in the states. Well, Daniel's two for two. He's committed to play with the Northland College Lumberjacks (NCAA Division 3) for the upcoming season. The Lumberjacks are based in Ashland, Wisconsin.
"It means the world to me," said Chartrand. "I can't thank all the people that helped me along the way, especially my parents. I wouldn't be here without them. It's going to be a blast playing there, and I can't wait for it to start."
"Ever since I was a little kid, my goal was to get an education and play hockey down south," he added. "I didn't really expect it to actually happen. I just put my head down and worked extra hard so I could achieve my goals."
Daniel's family has played a big part in his success to this date, and one of the main reasons he chose Northland was also because of his family.
"When I sat down with Coach Seamus, he just seemed like a guy I wanted to play for," said Chartrand. "He's a friend first, and a coach second. It's also close to home, and my friend Shane Roulette, who I played with at a young age and with Swan Valley also committed, which was a selling point."
Being it just 11-hours away, Daniel's pumped up that his family will be able to come for a weekend and watch some of his games.
"It's not that far from home, and family is really everything to me," he added. "They can come down and watch anytime, so that was the main thing for sure."
The Duck Bay native is coming off a season in which he spent time with three different teams. To start off, he played for the OCN Blizzard and was very impressive with 21 points (10 G) in 20 games.
He then went on to play for the La Ronge Ice Wolves in the SJHL for eight games and put up three more points. Finally, he ended up with the Swan Valley Stampeders and added another 12 points there in 23 regular season games, and four in four playoff games.
Overall, since starting his Jr. A career with the Dauphin Kings, Chartrand had 75 points in 162 games. Heading into his first season of college hockey, Chartrand knows it's going to be tough, but he's hoping he can translate the success he had in Canada to the United States.
"I'm striving to for sure," said Chartrand. "It's going to be a different game because it's down in the states, and you're playing against older and bigger players. But, hopefully, I can have the same success that I did this past season."
"I just need to go out there and play every game like it's my last," he added. "When I'm at Northland, I can't forget where I'm from (Duck Bay), and I need to walk around with pride. It's all about enjoying things, and giving it my all."
Although Daniel made a few stops after the Dauphin Kings in his Jr. A days, his favourite memory came when he was a King.
"I scored a shootout winner against the Winnipeg Blues," he added. "I got my first ever hard-hat as a Jr. A player after that game. They gave me the puck, and I gave it to my dad because he was there, and was so proud of me. I'll never forget that moment."
AUDIO: Daniel Chartrand.