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Fargo's Cole Knuble incorporates key lessons and fond memories from his NHL upbringing

Cole Nouvel really grew up at the rink. Between his father Mike’s 16-year NHL career and his older brother Cam, Knuble was the quintessential link rat in every sense of the imagination.

“My father and brother were playing and, to be honest, I just wanted to be like them,” said Cole Knuble.

It sounds simple, but it’s what sparked his passion for the game. Knuble is currently at Fargo Force and he is one of the USHL frontrunners.

The youngest of three children alongside Cam and sister Anna, Knuble grew up in a sizeable hockey family. He started skating when he was three years old and his father played in his NHL until he was nine years old.

“Fortunately or unluckily, hockey spent a lot of time on the rink and just being around the game always got a little bit of a bump in his throat,” said Mike Null. Growing up playing knee hockey in the basement since I was a kid, I was trying to keep up with my older brothers and friends.

Mike appeared in 1,068 games during his NHL career, most in Philadelphia. He was with the Flyers from 2005-2009 and again in the 2012-13 season when his lockout was shortened. He also played three seasons for the Washington Capitals during that time.

While Mike kept busy on the ice, his sons went crazy elsewhere in the arena and made unforgettable memories

“For at least one period, Cam and I were staying in the family lounge and playing with Ministicks,” Cole said. “And then one night all these guards were walking by and I recognized Wayne Gretzky in the middle of them all. I yelled at

“So he stopped and started talking to us and said, ‘If your dad hadn’t missed the empty net, I would have had another point. Funny thing is, I remember getting mad at his dad after the game. The first thing I said was, ‘You took Wayne Gretzky a point. ”

Mike remembers a post-game conversation with his sons and still laughs about it. But it’s moments like that that give Cole a development that most youth hockey players don’t have.

Born in 2004, Cole practically grew up in the Capitals practice facility and NHL locker room. When his father retired, he returned to his native Grand Rapids. However, he stayed in the professional game when Mike began coaching at the Detroit Reds His Wings AHL affiliate, the Grands His Rapids His Griffins.

“It was definitely a unique lifestyle, but it was also something special and I think it really helped him become the player he is today,” said Mike. “He knows a lot of the players and has been around them and seen how things work.

“And you remember little things like [Cole and Cam] I know where gum and candy is in the corner and where to find Gatorade in Cap’s locker room. I really enjoyed having them by my side and exposing them to that environment. ”

Cole’s time around the capital was also very productive in another way.

“How many times did he and his brother literally count? [Ovechkin] When the stick was broken, they knew where the equipment personnel would dump the broken stick. Cole was right there trying to get Ovi’s stick,” Mike said.

“Needless to say, when I got back from Washington[to Michigan]there were a lot of Ovechkin sticks taped up to my knees. One of almost every model he used was somewhere in our house. I think I’m sitting in [Cole’s] The passion for sports has always been there. ”

All the time spent around top pros certainly helped Cole as he plans his own course in hockey. In addition to his commitment to the University of Notre Dame, one of the top college programs in the country, Knuble has his name in the 2023 NHL Draft after his surprising passing last year. I still couldn’t hear it called. His older brother Cam said he spent three years in the USHL and is currently playing for West Michigan.

Sure, the Knuble boys may be better known by the names behind their jerseys at this point in their young careers, but their pedigree is something Cole greatly appreciates.

“Especially last year, it really made me realize how valuable it was to have my dad in my corner,” Cole said. He has been through it all and I am happy to know that he will support me in whatever I need.

“He doesn’t force anything on me and is really good at letting me make my own decisions. , I also know that he’s right by my side whenever I need him.

Along the way, Mike wanted his son to write his own story as well.

“I was 17 and came out of nowhere, but in today’s game it’s impossible,” he said. tracked or the quality of the games and the amount of games the kids are playing right now is pretty amazing… plus all the USA hockey camps he’s been to and whatnot. was very different from me.

“I tried to give him advice as much as I could. I think it is.”

Knuble, just 18, has seven games left in his second year at the USHL. He finished his rookie season with 20 goals and 49 points, leading Fargo to the playoffs. Despite a strong regular season, the Force lost to Omaha in the first round, which motivated Knuble and his teammates to join them this season.

For me personally, Knuble picked up where it left off. Through seven games, Knubl leads the Force with four goals.

2022 Sioux City Musketeers vs Fargo Force

“Last year was a great year for my development and I really got a taste of how difficult this game is going to be,” he said. “I know how fast and strong everyone is, so that’s what I really tried to focus on this summer.

“We have a lot of players coming back, we have a great new staff and we know we have great players who can achieve a lot.

His success hasn’t gone unnoticed in his hometown of Grand Rapids.

“We are very proud of him. I think we’re doing that,” Mike said. “He’s a competitor and at this stage in his career it’s all about dogfights.

“He’s never been happy about losing something. I think that’s really helped him get here. So he got off to a good start. [this season] And I know he will keep working hard. ”