Every child has a dream. For the most part sadly, those dreams are just dreams and nothing much. Every hockey player grew up wanting to play for their hometown team, there’s no denying it.
This was no different for Chase De Leo. Living on his family’s farm, the resident of La Mirada, California has always aspired to play for his hometown team, his parents being inaugural season ticket holders from the very start and his Southern California roots give everyone a good reason to cheer for this player. De Leo stated in an interview that he still has the Rally Towel from the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs and a Wild Wing trophy in his room, Chase has been a Ducks fan from the very beginning.
De Leo would begin his hockey life playing in the Los Angeles Selects program and from there he developed into a legitimate prospect putting up a stunning 83 points in 28 games of Bantom play. The very next year he put up a solid 39 points in 35 games playing 16u for Los Angeles. Then Chase decided he was ready to take his game to the next level, where he was drafted by the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. The Californian didn’t miss a beat in the CHL, putting up a respectable 30 points in 69 games. In De Leo’s draft year he had a breakout season, scoring 81 points in 72 games. His production also propelled him higher into the NHL draft rankings than originally expected.
De Leo’s professional career started in Winnipeg where, in 2014, the Jets selected him 99th overall. His stint in Winnipeg saw him grow into a fantastic role player and a very hard worker. He played another year of juniors and improved vastly and even cracked the United States World Juniors squad. That year he put up 84 points in 67 games. De Leo was improving and was rewarded with a callup to the NHL. On March 20th, 2016 he made his NHL debut, against noneother than his childhood team, the Anaheim Ducks. He would spend the next few seasons tearing up the AHL until in 2018 his dreams came true. Anaheim traded Nic Kerdiles (Irvine Native) for Chase De Leo (La Mirada Native). De Leo was choked up when he got the call. His call was on speakerphone, his family heard the news, and started crying tears of joy for the young man who’s childhood aspirations have just become reality. Chase’s childhood dream of putting on an Anaheim sweater came true when he got the call up to the Ducks on November 6th, 2018.
De Leo will be competing for a bottom 6 role on the Ducks this upcoming season as he signed a 1 year extension with the Anaheim Ducks, and as a Ducks fan, I hope he cracks the lineup and fulfill his dreams and scores a goal for the Ducks in Honda Center.