Westminster native, Monarch alum Maisells heading to familiar settings, signs with USPHL’s Cougars
After graduating from Broomfield High School and playing the last two years for the Monarch Coyotes high school team, Kevin Maisells is about to feel a breeze.
The 2002 birth year from Westminster recently inked to play junior hockey next season for the USPHL powerhouse Chicago Cougars, a team that he hopes feels like home.
“Back in April, I reached out to Coach (Josh) Dallmann about my interest playing for him next year and was told they would be at the CCM Hockey Showcase,” Maisells said. “We met up that weekend and I was fortunate enough to be given an offer.
“The location was a big factor in my decision as I grew up in Chicago and most my family lives in the area. Also being a diehard Blackhawks fan and having the opportunity to play at Fifth Third Arena was too good to pass up. I’ve had multiple former teammates go into the USPHL and have shared their positive experiences with me.”
Maisells added that he’s not going on his new journey blind.
“I don’t know anyone on my team yet but our rivals, the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings, have a lot of my previous teammates, so I’m excited be on the ice with them even if it’s in different jerseys,” Maisells said. “It’s definitely going to be a lot faster and more physical, but I’m the type of player who will up their game when facing new challenges.”
First getting into hockey when he was five years old, Maisells went to a try hockey session at the Promenade with a neighborhood friend and fell in love with the game.
“Although the Hawks are my team, my neighbor and I would watch all the Avs games while playing mini hockey,” remembered Maisells.
In addition to Monarch, Maisells skated for the Hyland Hills Jaguars and Littleton Hawks.
“I’ve been really fortunate to have great coaching at each club,” Maisells said. “Two coaches that really went above and beyond were Chance Creger and Brady Reynolds. Both put in extra hours on and off the ice to develop my game and helped me to move forward in the sport of hockey. I owe a lot to them.”
And while the 2020-21 season wasn’t normal by any means, Maisells was elated to get through the year.
“Despite the pandemic, this season was one of my favorites,” he said. “Having the opportunity to play at Hyland and for Jimmy Dexter and Steve Strunk again at Monarch for my senior year helped me get through COVID. When deciding where to play this past year, it was a really tough choice, but I decided to play with the players I grew up with one last time. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Every team I’ve played on, we’ve all been super close, but the bond around both locker rooms was something special.
“There’s nothing like being around the boys almost every day and playing the sport that you love.”
Looking ahead, Maisells has aspirations to stay on the ice as long as possible.
“My goal in hockey is just to take it as far as I can and enjoy every minute of it,” said Maisells. “Playing in college has always been a big dream of mine. I’m pursuing a career in physical therapy and hope to work with sports teams in my future.”
— Matt Mackinder
(July 13, 2021)