Kai Uchacz joined the T-Birds late in March after his season with the Okotoks Oilers ended. He played in five games and had one goal and one assist for two points. With the Oilers Uchacz played in 28 games and had 16 goals and 15 assists for 31 points. Kai was selected in the first round, 10th overall, in the 2018 Bantam Draft. Kai talked to us from his hometown, De Winton, Alberta, for this Q&A.
Seattle Thunderbirds: We’re glad you could take the time to join us Kai! First off, how’s your summer been so far?
Kai Uchacz: Summer has been great. A lot of hard work and training, also enjoying time with family, friends and relaxing.
ST: You scored your first goal on the last game of the season against Portland. What do you remember from scoring your first goal?
KU: All I remember was the surge of energy that shot through my body. It was an indescribable feeling and a goal that I will remember forever.
ST: You were with the team for the playoffs and played in Game 1 vs. Vancouver. Did you feel a shift in intensity of games from the regular season to the playoffs?
KU: Getting that first playoff game out of the way was a good experience for me. The shift of intensity was there for sure as both teams were hungry to win. Overall another great experience.
ST: What has you most excited about this upcoming season?
KU: I’m most excited to develop strong relationships with all my teammates, coaches, fans in the accesso ShoWare Center and to a strong start to my career.
ST: How ready are you to kick off your rookie season?
KU: Feeling pretty good, still lots of hard work ahead but can’t wait for the season to start.
ST: Happy belated birthday! You turned 16 just a few weeks back. Does that mean you’re driving now?
KU: Thank you, yes, I got my license on my birthday and it’s been great I can drive myself around.
ST: You had the chance to play for Team Alberta at the Canada Winter Games, how was that experience?
KU: The experience was great with high competition throughout my age group and it was cool to see all the different talent from across Canada.
ST: You made your T-Birds debut on February 1 against Everett. What do you remember from this game and the rivalry with Everett?
KU: I was a little nervous but extremely excited to play my first game as a T-Bird at home. The game against Everett I found more intense and physical than the others and can’t wait for more rivalry games against them.
ST: What are your expectations for you and the team this coming season?
KU: For the team to be in a playoff position at the end of the regular season and from there hopefully win a WHL Championship.
ST: Aside from hockey what are some of your other interest?
KU: I like to golf, water sports, four wheeling and hunting.
ST: Do you have any pre-game rituals that get you in the zone before practice and/or games?
KU: I listen to country music; it gets me in the zone then I follow a pre-game routine when I get to the rink for games.
ST: What aspects of your game did you work on during the off-season?
KU: I worked on speed and strength in the gym, my shot and puck handling skills. Also, my mental game off the ice as well.
ST: Thank you very much for your time Kai. We can’t wait to see you at Training Camp!
KU: Thank you! Can’t wait for camp to start and the season to begin.
Seattle Thunderbirds Public & Media Relations Intern Issac Daniels conducted the Q&A with Kai Uchacz. The team will be posting Q&A’s during the off-season with returning T-Birds players.