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Heartlanders’ Zach White is proving doubters wrong

Published: Apr. 9, 2022 at 7:13 PM CDT
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CORALVILLE, Iowa (KCRG) - Since stepping foot on the ice for the Iowa Heartlanders Zach White has made an impact.

“It was awesome. I never thought like I’d play in this league just because of the fact where my resume stands. I was always told I wouldn’t get the chance to even play,” said White.

Due to his size, the 5-foot-7 center has faced doubters since he was in high school.

“I’ve had coaches tell me I’ll never play in college and this or that,” he said.

Hard work is what helped carve his path.

White played Division III hockey and lacrosse for Curry College just outside of Boston and was a two-time captain. He played in France for a year, before returning to the U.S. where he’s moved up to two different leagues. The ECHL is the highest level of hockey White has played in his career and he doesn’t take it for granted.

“At the beginning, I think I was a little nervous because of the league. There’s NHL draft picks and AHL draft picks in the league and like it’s a little nerve-wracking, but I’m here for a reason. Clearly the coaches see that I’m useful and I can help the team win games,” said White.

Through 48 games this season, White has registered 16 goals and 32 assists. His 48 points ranks fourth among the team. He says sticking to his style of play is what has led to his success.

“I try to find the quiet areas because I’m a smaller guy,” he said. “I try to make the best of it and coaches are starting to see that. I think they appreciate what I bring to the team.”

This season has been a grind for the 26-year-old. His 48 games played is more than double his highest total since junior hockey. However, given the opportunity to return to the Heartlanders or even move up a league, he says it’s all worth it.

“I always told myself once I kind of stay stagnant in one spot and I’ve done what I can, that should be it, but I’m here now. I never thought I would be here. I think I’ll stay another year and try and create another opportunity for myself.”

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