Kinistino’s Margolis breaks into WHL with Tri-City Americans

Photo by Keith Dwiggins/Portland Winterhawks Kale Margolis skates for the Tri-City Americans at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon on Friday, Mar. 15, 2024.

Less than two months ago, Kale Margolis skated in his hometown rink in Kinistino with the Prince Albert Mintos as part of Hockey Day in Saskatchewan, now he is getting the chance to showcase his talents at the major junior level.

The 17-year-old centreman was signed by the WHL’s Tri-City Americans back on March 12 and had his debut with the team the same night in Vancouver.

Margolis enjoyed a career season with the Prince Albert Mintos in the Saskatchewan Male AAA Hockey League (SMAAAHL), posting 40 points in 44 games including 19 goals. He added six points in the Mintos first round playoff series against Swift Current.

The six-foot-one, 200 pound centreman went undrafted in the WHL Prospects Draft and was listed by the Americans in November ahead of the Mintos appearing in the Circle K Classic in Calgary.

Margolis says he is enjoying the opportunity given to him by the Americans.

“It’s amazing. I wasn’t expecting a phone call until like a week or two after our season ended. They called me and asked if I could get on a flight to Vancouver and now I’m here. (It turned into) a whirlwind situation and couldn’t be happier where I am right now.”

In his WHL debut, Margolis would start on Tri-City’s third line alongside Andrew Fan and Thomas Tien. Margolis would not record a point and finished with a minus-two rating in the Americans 5-1 loss at the Langley Events Centre to the Vancouver Giants, who are coached by former Prince Albert Raider Manny Viveiros.

“(I was) definitely nervous, didn’t want to make any mistakes that hurt the team.” Margolis recalled about his WHL debut. “All the guys are good to me, the coaching staff is great. It’s just a good experience overall, less time with the puck and everything’s well structured in this league. It’s nice to see that everything I’ve been working for, it’s been paying off and that someone’s giving me a chance to show it off and I couldn’t be more grateful for it and just hope to make the best of it.”

The Americans currently sit 10th place in the WHL’s Western Conference and have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. There is still plenty for younger players such as Margolis to play for with auditions for next year’s team in full force for Tri-City.

Margolis says he is hoping to make the most out of the opportunity.

“I’m just thankful for the experience, obviously thank you to all my parents, teammates and coaches who helped me to get here to where I am and hopefully I can keep moving forward and make the team next year.”