Quinn Mulder has been gaining confidence in his own play and realizing he can be an effective force during his first season as a junior hockey player with the 100 Mile House Wranglers.
Finishing off the regular season with 10 goals and 33 points, the 18-year-old ended up being the team’s third-leading (tied with Aidan Morrison) scorer behind Darian Long (51) and Cody Barnes (40).
“For the most part, I think so,” Mulder said when asked if he thought he accomplished all the goals he set for himself this season. “Definitely coming here, I didn’t have huge expectations on how my season would go but all things considered, I did accomplish most of what I wanted to.”
Originally from Terrace, Mulder attended camps held by Dale Haldun, head coach and general manager of the Wranglers, in Kitimat. Hladun initially asked him to come join the Wranglers in the 2018-19 season, but Mulder opted to remain in Terrace for one more year of midget hockey and to graduate high school with his classmates.
Prior to that, he played hockey entirely in Terrace, where in the first year of midget hockey he won a provincial tournament on home ice, beating a Port Alberni side 5-3. He said he didn’t score any goals but had two assists.
He started playing hockey as a five-year-old and grew up as Detroit Red Wings fan. Originally, his favourite player was Nick Lidstrom – considered one of the best modern defencemen in hockey before his retirement. It’s the reason why Mulder wears number 5, but after making the switch to forward, Mulder said he couldn’t quite model his game after Lidstrom now. Instead, he loves watching Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets. Though he added that he’s not sure if their play is actually anything alike, at all.
This year, he wanted to continue playing hockey so decided to come here. He said other teams were interested in having him play here but ultimately he decided to commit to the Wranglers.
“Just an interest from the coach, for sure and the feeling that I would be important to this team opposed to just another guy,” said the self-described pass-first two-way centreman on why he decided to come to 100 Mile House.
His favourite part about being a Wrangler is the organization’s involvement in the community, such as visiting elementary schools and helping out in minor hockey.
Overall, Mulder said his first season with the Wranglers was a good introduction to junior hockey.
“We definitely had a better ending to the season than the start and I think that was the same for my personal play as well,” he said, before adding what he thought were pivotal moments in the season for the team. “Big wins against good teams and seeing we can compete with the big dogs like Revelstoke and beating Kelowna our first game back from the break. Those things gave us confidence in our play and showed us yeah, we had a tough start but we are up there with all those teams.”