Meet Sanjay Chalupiak
KC Centennials U16 AAA (AEHL U16)
“5’11” 168 Pounds
2006 DOB – Forward
Tell us about your hometown, family and hobbies.
My hometown is Edmonton, Alberta. I think it is a great place to live with many opportunities and a very passionate city about hockey.
Some of the things I enjoy doing in Edmonton are mountain biking in the river valley and fishing (fly and Ice fishing included) on the lakes in and around the city. I also enjoy golfing, snowmobiling, and working out. I would say I am an outdoorsman who loves to spend time outside of the house.
I have a small family including me, my mom and my dad. I was born in Edmonton, and so was my father, but he grew up in a small town in rural Saskatchewan called Canora. My mom was born in England and immigrated to Saskatchewan when she was nine. My dad is of Ukrainian and British heritage, and my mom is of Indian origin.
How did you originally begin playing hockey (what age as well) and what is your favourite memory from when you were younger?
My dad introduced me to hockey when I was about 3 years old. Every night I would play hockey with him in my basement or on our driveway and it would be a blast. We also watched a lot of hockey on TV and he took me to my first live Oilers game when I was 4 years old. When I was about five, my parents introduced me into organized hockey with the Knights of Columbus hockey organization.
My favorite hockey memory was when we won gold in Edmonton Minor Hockey week. It is known for being one of the hardest tournaments to win, because if you lose one time you are out. We had a special team that year.
Who is your favourite NHL player and who do you model your game after? Why?
My favorite NHL player is Leon Draisaitl because he is an offensive machine who can pass and shoot from anywhere on the ice, he is very good at protecting the puck and winning faceoffs. I model my game after Jamie Benn, he has a big frame, is good at faceoffs, is great along the boards, and has a high hockey IQ. I also think he is good in the defensive zone and makes smart passes. I feel my skill set is very similar to his.
What team do/did you play for? What was your favorite part from the season?
I played for the Knights of Columbus Centennials U16 AAA AEHL. Although we had very little success this season, I still had fun and we grew as a team. The best individual moment of the season was when I scored the only two goals, one of which being the overtime winner against Lloydminster. It was an amazing moment for the whole team since we had already played 26 games and only won 2 games up to that point.
What are your top goals as a student athlete? Why are they your top goals?
My top goals are to graduate with an 80% plus grade point average and make a junior A team. These are my goals because it will set me up for success in the future. With good marks I can get access to a good education, and a good career in the future. Making a junior team would introduce me to a wide variety of opportunities, such as a scholarships to play at a college/university and eventually go pro.
How important is school from your perspective? Why is it that way?
School is very important, because without a solid educational foundation, there is nothing to build from. The lessons you learn in early in school, you build off eventually going all the way to the profession you choose.
What would it mean to you to play at the NCAA or Pro level?
Making NCAA or Pro is most important goal I have in my life. All my hard work, sacrifice and dedication would be put together to make my dreams come true and I would have fun while I do it.
What separates you as a player or person? How do you continue to get better?
I don’t let people tell me what I can and can’t do. I am always determined to prove people wrong. I work harder than other people to get what I think I deserve. I have and continue to make the commitment, strong work ethic and often make sacrifices to achieve my goals. I train hard both during the season and in the off season. While I am always looking for ways to improve my skills on the ice, I am always trying to improve myself as a person.
What impact are you looking to have in your sports careers (community, team, success, etc.)
I want to share my passion of hockey by being a strong leader and role model on my team and in the community. I give back each year by volunteering and will continue to do so. I have a team/family mentality that filters into the community and any team I play for.
One fun fact about yourself.
I love reading books.