Taking Liberties With… Chase Golightly
Position: Defenseman, Brampton Beast (ECHL)
Last Amateur Team: Robert Morris University (Atlantic Hockey, NCAA D-I)
Youth Teams: LA Selects, California Wave, LA Jr. Kings
California Rubber: What is your favorite hockey memory growing up?
Chase Golightly: My favorite was playing with Mike Lewis and going to Nationals at 16AAA with the Wave. We didn’t have the team that was supposed to make it that far. Everyone bought in, and he coached us the right way. We lost in either the semis or quarters. Just making it there was huge. It was a fun year of hockey.
CR: What is your favorite memory in the game since leaving California?
CG: It’s always fun to win, so my other one would be winning the Atlantic Hockey championship my sophomore year. We weren’t really expected to do that well and didn’t have a big group of upperclassmen. We ended up going to the conference finals and winning and going to the NCAA Tournament after that. We took a private jet to Minnesota and played the Gophers. I don’t think we had our best team that year, but it was a cool experience.
CR: Who have been the biggest influences on you on and off the ice?
CG: I grew up playing with a lot of successful players, like Matt Nieto and Beau Bennett, when I was young. When I went to Mike, he helped me identify what type of player I would be and identify the nuances of being a puck-rushing defenseman. Off the ice, my parents (John and Holly). They didn’t know anything about hockey growing up. We never watched it when I was younger. Their work ethic and the sacrifices they made were incredible. They were a great example.
CR: Other than hockey, do you have other activities you enjoy?
CG: At school, we would play baseball in the spring. I like to ride mountain bikes. Growing up, my brother and I liked to ride dirt bikes. I still enjoy that, but I can’t do it during the season.
CR: Are there are any pieces of gear you’re particular about?
CG: I wouldn’t say I’m superstitious, but I’m fussy about my skates. I take forever to break in new skates and I’m particular about the height of the steel. When I was younger, I used to be superstitious, but when you play as many games as we play, it’s harder because you don’t have the time to get hung up on something.
CR: What are essential items to take on a road trip?
CG: The necessities would be your passport and a suit. It’s nice to have something like a tablet or a book to kill the hours on the bus or hanging in the room. It’s nice to see new places and explore new cities, and we have time to do that sometimes.
CR: When you’re back in California, do you have a favorite meal or restaurant?
CG: In-N-Out’s always hard to beat. It’s pretty simple. I love it. It always reminds me of home. And my mom makes a pretty good Shepherd’s Pie.
CR: Did you have a favorite player growing up?
CG: When I was younger, my favorite player was Scott Stevens. I was pretty aggressive as a kid. I always loved what a savage he was. It didn’t hurt that the Devils were always Cup contenders then. I also really liked watching Scott Niedermayer when he was on the Ducks, how he read the plays and was such a smooth skater.
CR: If you weren’t playing pro hockey, what do you think you’d be doing?
CG: I’d probably be working in Downtown LA and using my degree to do something in finance or accounting. I’ve always liked to compete, so if it wasn’t hockey, maybe it would have been soccer or something else like that.
CR: What is the most challenging aspect of playing pro hockey?
CG: One thing is you get to play a game, which is incredible for work. You’re not in the office from 9 to 5. But the thing people don’t understand is you don’t have a lot of off time. It’s tough to make a lot of plans when you could get traded or there is a trip coming up. The other thing is going through a season, you’re usually not ever 100 percent healthy. Just because you’re not on the IR doesn’t mean you’re fully healthy.
— Compiled by Chris Bayee
(April 11, 2019)