For 15-year old Zach Nehring, March 25, 2020 was a red-letter day. It was the 2020 WHL U.S. Prospects Draft and Nehring was chosen in the first round, 17th pick for the Brandon Wheat Kings.
“One goal I’ve accomplished this year would be playing for Shattuck St. Mary’s. I’ve been set on playing there since I was about 11 and just to put on a jersey that Sidney Crosby did, is a huge honour. And now, after being drafted by the Brandon Wheat Kings, I feel like my passion for hockey and goal of playing at a higher level is moving in an exciting direction,” said Nehring.
Nehring grew up playing his minor hockey in Minot, North Dakota, with the Minot Wolves. He enjoyed summer travel hockey in Canada starting when he was seven, playing for the Manitoba Lightning and later with the Extreme. This was followed by special teams - Minot Wolves, the Junior Jets out of Winnipeg, 2k5 Warriors (Brandon) the past few summers and, especially, Shattuck St. Mary Sabres - his most current team.
Nehring plays right wing and he brings leadership, skill and hard work to every team. He cites his mom and dad as his biggest inspiration - “Just for everything they’ve done for me to allow me to become the player/person that I am.”
What has it taken to get this far? “I think just putting in time, shooting pucks, stick handling and working out as much as possible. The biggest attribute that you need is to sacrifice things to become successful, which is a big thing my dad taught me when I was growing up. While my friends were hanging out, I’d shoot pucks for an hour, then I’d go hangout with them”.
What about hockey highlights? Nehring says the most memorable moment would be playing in the Brick tournament when he was 10. “Even though we didn’t do too well, it was just an amazing experience.”
Goals can be big and small, mostly a series of small goals lead up to a big goal. Nehring says his goals in hockey have been trying to become the best player he can be, to continue to develop his game, play high level hockey and hopefully one day make it to the NHL. He accomplished a long-held dream this season when he played for Shattuck St. Mary’s.
What advice can he offer to young hockey players with big dreams and goals? “Some advice I’d give to those young hockey players out there would be to work hard every day, try to shoot pucks and stick handle as much as you can, but most importantly have fun doing it,” he concluded.
Note: Zach’s mother is Angie (Lamport) Nehring, formerly of Napinka, MB and a graduate of Melita School.