The familiarity between the Vees organization and the State of Hockey brings Edina, Minnesota native Liam Malmquist to Penticton for the beginning of his junior hockey career. While playing his high school hockey in his hometown, Malmquist registered 36 goals and 41 assists for 77 points in 59 games including a senior season in which he led the Hornets with 23 goals and 52 points in just 29 games played over the 2018/19 campaign.
“Playing three years at Edina was awesome,” said the incoming Vees forward, “Being around my teammates, who I grew up playing with and the coaches I’ve known for a while as well. Last year was definitely the icing on the cake in my senior season and I really enjoyed my time playing there.”
Moving to Minnesota from San Francisco, California at the age of three, Malmquist had hockey in his life at all times, “Ever since I moved to Minnesota, I grew up an Edina Hornet hockey player,” commented the 18-year-old, “It’s been a pretty wild ride here but I love the community here and the hockey is awesome.”
In choosing a place to advance in his hockey career and make the jump to Junior ‘A’, a trip to Penticton was a decisive factor, “Seeing how nice the facility is and how supportive the coaching staff looked to be was a big part in making my decision,” said Malmquist, “The team is bringing in some really talented players so I think I’m going to get the best opportunity in playing with the Vees.”
“Another factor in choosing where to play this season was the decision between the BCHL and USHL,” continued Malmquist, “After talking to people who I knew and people who had played in the league, I think Penticton was definitely the right choice.”
The visit for Malmquist also gave him his first look at the town of Penticton, “It’s a pretty long drive through the mountains, which is something I’ve never experienced before so that was pretty cool,” mentioned Malmquist, “When I got to the rink, it was pretty breathtaking to see and Penticton has everything I could need to succeed.”
There weren’t too many weekends in which the Malmquist family wasn’t at a hockey rink somewhere. Each of Liam’s two brothers played the game with his oldest sibling, Dylan, playing four seasons at the University of Notre Dame and moving onto a pro hockey career. “It’s been a part of our lives for as long as I can remember,” said the 5’8″, 170-pound left shot forward, “Whether it was playing mini-sticks in the basement, street hockey or playing on the outdoor rinks in Minnesota with my brothers and my Dad, it was just about every day.”
“During the summer, we get out everyday and it’s like you’re competing with them in the back of your head and adds to my competitive nature as a player,” Malmquist continued, “Both my brothers are talented so it’s been very helpful and pushed me to be a better player.”
After his senior season at Edina came to a close, Malmquist secured his collegiate career by committing to the University of Wisconsin, “After our season-ending tournament, I sat down, looked at everything and did some research and it was a really tough decision but Coach (Tony) Granato, (Mark) Strobel and (Mark) Osieki were the people I wanted to play for ,” said Malmquist, “Wisconsin was the place for me and I’m happy to be a Badger.”
As for offseason training, Malmquist likes to keep the routine similar for each of his years, “I do a weight training program which I’ve been doing for the past three or four summers,” stated Malmquist, “That goes Monday to Friday, working to get faster and stronger overall. It’s a lot of hockey moves and mechanics that go along with the game and is something I’ve really enjoyed doing for a while.”
“I’m also on the ice quite a bit, skating four or fives times a week,” continued Malmquist, “It’s a pretty busy summer with hockey but I also like to make time to hang out with my friends and get out to the cabin to fish and find some time away from the game.”
Malmquist and the rest of the Vees are set to hit the ice in August 19th ahead of the 2019/20 season with the first game of the exhibition schedule taking place on Wednesday, August 21st in West Kelowna against the Warriors. Season tickets are on sale now and are available by contacting Laura Carleton at (250) 493-8337 ext. 4.