When you thinks of the state of Iowa, the sport of hockey does not immediately come to mind. However, a 15-year-old Waukee defenseman is hoping to change that.
Christian Evers is considered one of the top prospects in the country, having already committed to play college hockey at North Dakota.
Evers says, “It’s the best, they produce the most professional players, and their facilities are unbelievable.”
Because hockey isn`t a mainstream sport he`s had to make decisions and sacrifices that 15-year-olds rarely have to make.
Evers' Coach David Wilkie says, “Some guys can`t hack it. It takes a special person to want to give up normal things as a kid to chase their dreams. Some make it. Some don`t. But Christian is a fortunate one. Good things will happen for him.”
This past year Evers lived in Omaha to play on his under 16 team and next year it`s Ann Arbor, Michigan with team USA’s under 17 squad.
Evers’ mother D`lynn Shepard says it’s tough having him so far away, “I`m not going to lie. I think I cried for the first three week and might have asked him once or twice if he wanted to move home.”
But she knows it is what is best for her son, “it was exciting at the same time. I wasn`t quite ready for him to move away at 15, but it was right where he needed to be.”
Hopefully, his sacrifices will continue to pay off. “I definitely want to play in the NHL someday, that`s my goal.”
If the young Evers makes it to the NHL, he will become the second professional hockey player to come out the Hawkeye State behind current Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen.