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Leaving the den: Cole Moberg taking next step in hockey career after three seasons with Prince George Cougars

He recently joined the AHL on a professional try-out contract

Cole Moberg is officially choosing to take the next step in his hockey career and has bid farewell to B.C.'s north.

Today (Jan. 31), the 20-year-old announced on social media he's moving forward with his career after spending the last three-and-a-half years in Prince George and 187 games with the Cougars.

"I have met so many great people that will be friends for life! The community has been terrific," said Moberg.

"Firstly, I would like to thank my teammates, the memories we made will last a life time. Secondly, I wouldn't like to thank the entire Cougars coaching staff, training staff, front office staff, and the ownership group! Thirdly, I would like to thank the fans for all their support at each and every game [...] I couldn't have asked for a better place to play my entire junior hockey career."

This comes 11 days after signing a professional try-out contract with the Rockford IceHogs, the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Five days later, he was one of eight blue-liners named to the team's training camp roster with the AHL season scheduled to begin on Friday (Feb. 5).

Moberg was taken by Chicago in the seventh round, 194th overall of the 2019 draft in Vancouver.

“I paid attention to them growing up, obviously with a few Stanley Cup runs they had, it’s hard not to watch," Moberg told PrinceGeorgeMatters after getting the call from Chicago.

"The D-core they’ve had there over the years with the likes of [Duncan] Keith and [Brent] Seabrook, you know, those were two guys I liked to watch. The fact that they’re an original six franchise is also pretty exciting.”

In his three seasons with Prince George, the alternate captain combined for 29 goals and 60 assists for 89 points, along with 415 shots on goal and 101 penalty minutes.

His career year was his draft year of 2018-19 with 40 points in 61 games, including 13 goals and 27 assists.

Moberg was on pace for his best major junior season of hockey last year, 37 points in 58 games, until COVID-19 cancelled the last six contests.

Along the road with the Cougars, he was named the team's top defenceman the last two seasons and was also selected to the CHL Team of the Week for Nov. 4-10, 2019, after going on a six-point streak in three games. 

The Cougars are continuing to waiting on a potential 2020-21 season to begin as the WHL recently received the go-ahead from Alberta to host games in its province as early as Feb. 26, 2021.

Final approval is still needed for teams in B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Washington and Oregon.