Minto alum Chase Pauls anchoring Hurricane blue line

Photo by Erica Perreaux/@perreauxphoto. Lethbridge Hurricanes defenseman Chase Pauls

It was an unorthodox path to the Western Hockey League for Lethbridge Hurricanes defenseman Chase Pauls, but the 19-year-old Osler product is enjoying the fruits of his labor in the windy city.

Pauls has appeared in 58 games this season for the Hurricanes registering 5 goals, 12 assists, 50 penalty minutes and a plus 12 rating. Lethbridge currently sits in fifth place in the WHL’s Eastern Conference standings with a record of 32-22-3-3 on the season.

Pauls says Lethbridge is hoping to peak at the right time with the WHL playoffs right around the corner.

“Every season you have your up and downs. We’ve had our fair share of those and we are looking to build up heading into the playoffs. For myself, I feel like my game has come a long way throughout the year. I want to build and be my best going into the playoffs.”

Pauls played in 44 career games with the Prince Albert Mintos split between the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 seasons. Pauls recorded eight goals and 14 assists in his Minto career.

He says his time with the Mintos prepared him for the grind that it takes to be a player in the WHL.

“It was huge. We had really good coaches when I was here, and I think some of them are still there. I played with a lot of good players on my team and around the league and that was huge for my development, even with the travel. It’s not as insane as WHL for travel but you are on the bus a lot and gain an understanding for it.”

Photo by Erica Perreaux/@perreauxphoto. Lethbridge Hurricanes defenseman Chase Pauls handles the puck during WHL action at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge earlier this season.

Breaking into the WHL was a bit of an unusual path for the Pauls. He is one of three active Hurricanes to not be selected in the WHL Prospects Draft, but was instead listed by the organization along with teammates Jett Jones and Harrison Meneghin.

The Prince Albert Raiders also feature three players who entered the league via being listed in Keaton Sorenson, Justice Christensen, and former Lethbridge Hurricane Easton Kovacs.

Pauls has appeared in 152 games as a Hurricane since being listed and has recorded 43 career points.

He says being listed gave him the motivation he needed to make the jump to the WHL.

“I think it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me because it made me want it more than those other guys. I was competing against all the draft picks and not being drafted put a chip on my shoulder and made me work a lot harder. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.”

Pauls has gotten several opportunities to suit up in his old stomping grounds at the Art Hauser Centre, most recently on Mar. 3 when Lethbridge picked up a 3-0 victory over the Raiders, their first win in Hockeytown North since Feb. 27, 2019.

Pauls says he has enjoyed playing in the Hauser but finds it to be a tough building to play in as the opposition.

“It’s a little smaller and the fans here are insane. The boards and everything about the rink. There’s nothing specific about it but just a tough place to play in and the Raiders have tough teams to play against.”