Daniel McKitrick hoists the Commissioner’s Cup after winning it with the Danbury Hat Tricks in the Federal Prospects Hockey League. McKitrick is originally from Coral Harbour and was playing his first year of professional hockey. (Photo courtesy of Daniel McKitrick)

Coral Harbour hockey player a champ in first year as pro

Daniel McKitrick was part of the championship-winning Danbury Hat Tricks in the FPHL

By David Lochead

In his first year as a professional hockey player, Coral Harbour’s Daniel McKitrick is a champion.

“It was quite a ride,” the 25-year-old forward said in an interview this week.

Originally from Coral Harbour, McKitrick finished his first year in the Federal Prospects Hockey League, an American professional minor league, after several years of playing junior and university-level hockey.

His team, the Danbury Hat Tricks, based in Connecticut, defeated the Carolina Thunderbirds three games to two in the best-of-five series to win the league’s trophy, the Commissioner’s Cup, on May 14.

McKitrick played a pivotal role in the third game, scoring two goals and adding an assist when his team was trailing in the series two games to none and facing elimination.

On his first goal, McKitrick took a pass in the slot in front of the net and roofed the puck. He scored his second goal after receiving a cross-ice pass from his defencemen.

“It was really nice to produce for the team,” McKitrick said.

His first year was a successful one production-wise as well, as he totalled 56 points, including 27 goals, in 54 regular season games. He was the team’s third-leading scorer, and in the playoffs he added six points in 10 games.

McKitrick said he had to adjust to the speed and physicality of pro hockey, but he “got the hang of it” halfway through the season.

Daniel McKitrick’s team, the Danbury Hat Tricks, celebrating on the ice after winning the Commissioner’s Cup. (Photo courtesy of Daniel McKitrick)

His first year also brought his first trade as a pro, when he was was traded from the Mississippi Sea Wolves to the Hat Tricks after 21 games.

The trade gave him the opportunity to play on a Danbury team that was going to compete for the Commissioner’s Cup.

His uncles in Coral Harbour were watching the games, McKitrick said, with other Nunavummiut and Inuit sending him congratulatory messages on Facebook after he won.

After a successful first year, McKitrick, listed on the team website as being five-foot-seven and 155 pounds, said he plans to return to Coral Harbour this summer to train.

Next year, he said he hopes to play in the Southern Professional Hockey League, which is a tier above the Federal Prospects league.


Share This Story

(10) Comments:

  1. Posted by Jason Gibbons on

    Congratulations Daniel , way to go , keep it up . ??

  2. Posted by Jim Kreuger on

    Well done, Daniel! I remember the amazing goals you scored as a wee Atom player at a hockey tournament in Baker Lake way back when. The news of your current success is helping me get over the disappointment of the NHL results.
    Best wishes for you during next year’s season, as well!

  3. Posted by Where is Danbury? on

    Danbury is a city located in the state of Connecticut, USA, and about 80 Kim’s northeast of New York City (for readers who are wondering).

    • Posted by Autocorrection correction on

      That’s 80 kms from NYC

      • Posted by Northern on

        Coral Harbour to Danbury 2604 km

        • Posted by FirstCanadianAirNorth on

          Also, $2,604 to fly there.

          • Posted by Nunavuttmiut in the East on

            Wow! Good Deal! Only $2604 🙂

            • Posted by SARCASM on

              From Kuujjuaq to Montreal round airfair $3147.47. Onboard drinks extra

  4. Posted by Johnny Ningeongan on

    Congratulations Daniel! All the best to you! Coral Harbour is proud of you! ?

  5. Posted by I live in the Arctic on

    Congratulations! I wish you all the best!

Comments are closed.