Back Where It Started
It was the perfect fit.
Dakota Krebs slipped seamlessly into the Hitmen lineup after being traded from the Tri-City Americans in January and felt right at home.
The Okotoks product already brought a reliable physical presence to the table, but also chipped in offensively with four goals and eight points in 32 games.
“I think it was a great move for me with it being so close to home and it just seemed like a natural fit,” Krebs said. “Coming to a team that welcomed you with open arms, it doesn’t get much better and that really helped me out.
“It’s exciting to be a part of a team with such a bright future and we have a real good opportunity to be something special not just next year, but for years to come.”
Splitting time between the two clubs this season saw the 19-year-old set a new career high with 12 points, and was a +14 with the Hitmen. It was a flip of the script from his -10 rating with Tri-City.
The thought of closing out the final two years of his junior hockey career in Alberta has given the defender an added boost of confidence. For Krebs, it doesn’t feel too long ago that he worked his way into the league after being undrafted in the WHL Bantam Draft.
“It’s all about giving everything that you got,” he said. “I’m realizing now how fast time flies by and how important it is to just enjoy every moment and lay it all on the line. If you do that, you won’t have any regrets about it.”
With his move to the Central Division, it was no secret that he would be seeing more of his little brother Peyton and division-rival Kootenay. It’ll be a change up for him, as the pair may not train as much together as they have in past years.
“This summer I’m hesitant to show my tricks just because I’ll see him six or seven times next season,” he said. “Going from only one game to more than a handful and being rivals will be a change up from what we’ve been used to. It should be fun.”
In addition to working on his all-around game, as one of the veterans on the blueline Krebs knows that they’ll be some added responsibility to be a leader with a young defensive corps.
Is he feeling the added extra pressure of taking on a larger leadership role?
Not one bit.
“It was the same thing when I was 16, you look for a guy to look up to and pick their brain on how to be a solid player in this league,” he said. “It’s about staying persistent and they’ll learn it’s about doing the little things and I’m ready to be that guy to teach the younger guys.”