MEDICINE HAT, AB — It didn't take long for the Medicine Hat Tigers to realize the impact Clayton Kirichenko had on the team.
Less than a year after being acquired by the Vancouver Giants, the Sherwood Park native took over as Team Captain for the 2016-17 season.
The smooth skating blue-liner leaves a big hole not only on the ice, but also in the dressing room. Although he didn't have the loudest voice of the bunch, Kirichenko lead by example.
Pure heart, determination, and commitment to the game of hockey rubbed off on his teammates. Those qualities ultimately lead the Tigers to it's first Central Division Title in 10 years.
Kirichenko leaves the Tigers with 25 career goals and 94 career assists. The 21-year-old caught fire in his final year of play, scoring a career high 12 goals and 52 helpers. More impressively, Kirichenko tacked a sensational +50 rating, and was the only Tiger to carry a positive plus-minus in the 2015-16 season.
CHAT TV's Mitch Bach caught up with "Captain Clay" to hear his thoughts on graduating from the WHL, and how playing for the Medicine Hat Tigers shaped his hockey career.