BRYAN WILSON – 08.23.2023

Cole Schwindt has been enjoying the offseason at home in Kitchener and during his down time from training this summer, he has embraced the opportunity to help at multiple charitable initiatives in the local area.

Most recently, Schwindt was out at the Scotland’s Yard Road Hockey Classic, supporting the goal of raising $50 million over the next 10 years to support Grand River Hospital and its pediatric cancer programs.

“Kitchener as a whole is awesome for charity events in the summer,” he explained. “That’s one of the biggest things, as hockey players or any professional athlete, it’s important to give back. For me, it’s fun to get out there and meet the kids and support different local charities and great causes that need more exposure.

“Hockey’s such a big piece of my life,” he added. “So, getting out there and playing some road hockey just takes you back to the old days.”

When he’s not volunteering at an event, or training for the upcoming season, Schwindt enjoyed spending time with his younger brothers Kai and Brady, who always motivate him to be at the top of his game.

“We have a very close family, with my two brothers, and they push me to be the best I can be, and I want them to be proud of their older brother,” he said. “It’s fun to come home, they’re just as competitive as I am, whether it’s out in the driveway shooting pucks, or playing tennis, or basketball, or anything like that. All three of us want to win and don’t take no for an answer, in that sense. It’s fun competing with them. It keeps me light, so I really enjoy that.”

On the ice, Schwindt is fast becoming a special teams’ specialist, scoring a career high seven powerplay goals last season – third most on the Wranglers.

He’s looking to build on his powerplay prowess this year and was quick to credit his teammates for boosting his production last season.

“I was playing with some unbelievable players first and foremost, with a tonne of skill,” he said. “For me, it was just about getting to the right place, and they were able to find me. The guys on that team and the skills they had, I owe it all to them.”

Last season brought its share of adversity for the 22-year-old, but Schwindt has learned how to deal with the ebbs and flows of a hockey season and he has an innate ability to stay even-keeled throughout.

He often harkens back to a familiar saying:

“Don’t get too high on the highs, or too low on the low’s,” Schwindt recited. “I’ve played hockey my whole life and there are ways to get around obstacles, whether it’s a point deficit, or maybe you’re not feeling 100 percent for a few games in a row.

“Hockey is a tough game, and it will challenge you every single day. It’s important to find your way through adversity, that’s the biggest thing. Everybody deals with challenges, but it’s about who can find ways to get around that adversity and perform at their best every night.”

Following the trade from the Florida Panthers last offseason, Schwindt admitted that it took some time to acclimatize to his new surroundings in Calgary. However, heading into Year 2, he says he’s feeling comfortable and confident about what he needs to do to be successful.

“Comfortability is a big thing,” he explained. “Coming in last year, I didn’t fully know what to expect, but this year, I know the guys there and I have an idea of what type of player they feel fits into the organization. I’m excited for it and looking forward to getting back to Calgary.”