BOISE, Idaho — As the Steelheads prepare for team camp in the coming weeks, the team signed Zachary Walker, their first Boise-born player.
"As a young hockey player, you always had aspirations to someday possibly play for the Steelheads so it is super special," Walker said.
He grew up playing for the Junior Steelheads and spent his childhood going to games.
"The best was going to games and selling chuck-a-pucks, but I'd usually go with my mom or dad and would be walking up and down the concourse yelling, 'Chuck-a-pucks, chuck-a-pucks for sale,' so that was awesome," Walker said. "I also got to play at intermissions sometimes."
✍️ SIGNED: Boise's native son is coming home ☺️— Idaho Steelheads (@Steelheads) September 20, 2021
Zach Walker becomes the first player born in Boise to play for the Steelheads after signing on for the 2021-22 season. He spent last season in Pensacola.
Welcome home, Zach!
DETAILS: https://t.co/mgc5SW4zfF | #FeelTheSteel pic.twitter.com/yPEjiXiaN2
Now years later, Walker is making his dream a reality, continuing his professional career in the city he grew up in.
"To be back playing where I grew up and from watching Steelheads games growing up, it’s exciting to actually be the one putting the jersey on,” Walker said.
The Steelheads have had an Idaho player before -- Cody Lampl from Ketchum -- but never Boise.
Although his family has since moved away, Walker says they already have tickets to come back for the home opener.
"To have them in stands, it will bring back a lot of memories for them, and it's going to be really special to see their little boy playing on their hometown team," he said.
Walker spent the past year playing professionally for the Pensacola Ice Flyers.
"It was a good experience," he said. "A lot of teams didn’t play last season, Idaho being one of them so I was previously signed to be here, but once that fell through, I was just looking for opportunities to get some pro games under my belt."
Now he's looking to bring that experience to Boise.
"I'm a physical player. I like to play fast, and I am always going to do my best to play consistently in a tough game," Walker said.
When he's not training, Walker spends his time going down memory lane in a city he says has changed a lot in the seven years since he's lived here.
"It was interesting to drive to my old house and see that they haven’t painted it still so it looked pretty familiar to me which is nice to see," Walker said. "The surrounding area for sure has changed and exploded."
Get the family ready for hockey!— Idaho Steelheads (@Steelheads) September 16, 2021
4 for $50 Family Friday is back again starting Opening Night! Snag tickets, Double R Ranch hot dogs and Pepsis for the whole family with discounted tickets.
Single-game tickets are on sale soon, so be on the lookout for this deal when they drop! pic.twitter.com/saHNOgiycH
The Steelheads start training camp on October 8, with the home opener scheduled for October 22.
Single-game tickets go on sale Monday morning. To purchase them, click here.