Langkow wants to follow in cousin's footsteps

JASON HILLS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:20 AM ET

The closest to Edmonton Chris Langkow played last season was one game in Swift Current. Tonight, he'll be able to play at home for the first time in over a season.

The 18-year-old Spokane Chiefs forward is enjoying both team and personal success in his second year in the WHL after a rough first campaign.

When the Chiefs arrived in Edmonton yesterday, Langkow was able to go home and visit his family in Vegreville.

"It's been a long time since I have been able to play a hockey game at home," said Langkow from his family's home. "Things are going a lot better for me this year. I have been given a good opportunity on a great team and my confidence is growing more and more."

FAMOUS FLAME

The cousin of current Calgary Flames centre Daymond, Langkow had a dominant final season of midget with the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers. He was one of the AMHL's most prolific players, scoring 24 goals and 23 assists in 47 games, leading the Rangers to the provincial final. He was looking to carry over that success last season, but a groin injury in training camp slowed him down and when he was finally healthy he was injured in a car accident. To make matters worse, when he recovered from the accident he suffered a concussion his first game back.

"Last year I had high expectations of myself and it was really hard on me with the accident and all the injuries. It really hurt my confidence," said Langkow. "Confidence is a big thing for me, when I have the confidence I know I can be a good player, but when I don't have confidence I am always second guessing myself.

"I spent most of last season worried if I was going to be in the lineup and I was always afraid of making mistakes. This year I got off to a slow start the first 10 games, but I have really turned it around."

Last season in 49 games he scored four goals and eight assists. This season he's scored six goals and six assists in 28 games in helping the Chiefs to the best record through the first quarter of the season.

"The team this year is crazy good, and my role is bigger this year, but we have so much offensive talent I am just expected to chip in when I can," said Langkow.

TWO-WAY PLAYER

"This year reminds me of my last year of bantam in Fort Saskatchewan when we won Western Canadians. I was expected to score some, but I was also looked up to contribute defensively."

Langkow is very close with his family and he has a close connection with his cousin Daymond. The Calgary Flames forward has always been there for Chris offering him advice.

"I talk to him on a regular basis and he knows what I went through last year and he's always there for support," explains Langkow.

"He knew I wanted to have a lot of success at this level and I wanted to get drafted. He's just told me to keep working hard and I will get there."


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