No slowing down in sight for Las Vegas pro vet Francis
Chris Francis has seen a great deal of North America during his junior hockey and pro hockey career.
This past season, the 27-year-old Las Vegas native took in the best sights and sounds Europe had to offer as he played for the Szekeshfehervar Alba Volan HC club in Austria.
“My experience over in Europe was great,” said Francis. “I really enjoyed the league I played in and got to see a lot of great places.”
Francis posted 12 goals and 29 points in 50 games to finish third in team scoring.
Now back home, Francis said his summer plans “are going to be pretty much the same as every summer for me.”
He’ll be helping out with the Nevada Storm youth program, giving private lessons and then working for the Pro Ambitions hockey camp.
During his youth days in Las Vegas, Francis collected jerseys from a multitude of organizations, mostly with the Las Vegas Rebels and Las Vegas Outlaws, and then played Major Junior hockey in the Western Hockey League with the Portland Winterhawks. He said coaches have been the backbone to his junior and pro success.
“Every coach in my career has shown me different things and taught me things I could use,” said Francis. “My father, David, was the biggest help to me along with Mike Johnston and Travis Green with Portland and Ryan Mougenel and Rob Pallin (with the ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers).”
With the Wranglers, where Francis played pro from 2010-14 until the team ceased operations, he has nothing but fond memories.
He wants to keep the memories going.
“It was always nice being able to play at home in front of family and friends every game,” said Francis. “We had a great support group in the fans. At the moment, I have no options for next year and I’m on the fence where I want to play next year. All I know is I would like to play for at least 8-10 more years because I love this sport.”
— Matt Mackinder