Colorado Rubber

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After NCDC stint, Castle Pines native Robinson fine-tuning game with NA3HL’s Bighorns


Cai Robinson began the 2023-24 season with the NCDC’s Idaho Falls Spud Kings before joining the NA3HL’s Helena Bighorns around the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Castle Pines native said there are positives to both organizations.

“The opportunity for Idaho Falls arose in my previous season playing out my last 18U year (with the Colorado Springs Tigers) where I was offered a tender and followed that through the summer to play for them,” said Robinson. “I then decided to ask for a trade where Helena saw me on the wire, and I decided to head over to them for a chance at the Fraser (Cup).

“Both are/were great places to play with a lot of support from the local town.”

Robinson also said leaving home for junior hockey has been a smooth transition.

“Being a billet, living away from home is unique to hockey, just like the junior experience,” Robinson said. “I’ve had the chance to make some awesome relationships with the families I have stayed with, and they have made it easy to be away from home.”

Getting his start in the game of hockey came innocently enough for Robinson.

“When I was three years old watching the Winter Olympics is where I saw hockey and fell in love with the game,” said Robinson. “Shortly after, my parents thought to sign me up for Snowplow Sam at the Family Sports Center. The Avalanche being right here in Colorado and practicing out of the same rink I grew up skating at also had an impact.”

Once he took the ice, Robinson started with the Arapahoe Warriors’ rec league, playing there for a couple seasons before moving on to Krivo School of Hockey Elite until 14U, then the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders, and wrapping up with the Tigers from 15U to 18U.

“All of my coaches have left an imprint on me, and I have been able to make my game off of what they have taught me, from skills to systems to the way I see the game,” Robinson said. “Playing in Colorado, I will remember playing against and with all of my friends having a super fun competitive edge to it, especially since the 2004 birth year happened to be pretty strong.”

Moving forward, it’s business as usual for Robinson.

“Some short-term goals this season would be to get to the Fraser Cup and win it,” said Robinson. “A long-term goal would be to elevate my game and play in the NAHL next year, working towards NCAA college hockey.”

Photos/Steve Robinson

— Matt Mackinder

(January 24, 2024)

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