GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The connection between Mason Lohrei and Jake Schaltz goes back long before their time with the Green Bay Gamblers.
The friendship between the two of them actually dates back to their upbringing in the Madison-area as kids.
“We played football together when we were in the fourth grade ,and then we played hockey together growing up. Super cool that we get to play with each other now,” and Gamblers forward Jake Schmaltz.
In the summer of 2019 they would be reunited again when Schmaltz was traded to the Green Bay Gamblers. Immediately the two got in contact, and even decided to become roommates soon after.
“We’ve got a pretty special relationship. We’re always at the rink together, joking around, at home together. We spend every second together. Then obviously with both of us being picked by Boston it was a little cherry on top,” said Lohrei.
They also share another experience that many other friends cannot. Not only are they both NHL Draft picks, they were both selected by the Boston Bruins.
Schmaltz heard his name called in the seventh round of the 2019 draft, and Lohrei a year later in the second round.
“Best feeling in the world. Even better when you get to share it with these guys that are out here every day. Jake especially, we’ve been on this journey together ever since we were little. Pretty special that he’s sitting right there next to me, along with my parents,” said Lohrei.
“If we were able to go in at the same time. That would be super awesome. Just playing two years in juniors together and growing up. He’s one of my best friends. So, if I can play with him a little more after this year that would be super cool,” said Schmaltz.
So far Lohrei and Schmaltz have seen plenty of success at this level. That’s especially true when it comes to pushing one another on and off the ice.
“They have that little bit of chemistry. They compete very hard against each other, which kind of sets the standard for how everyone else does as well,” said head coach Pat Mikesch.
“Everyone in this league is a great player. Then everyone on our team too. Just practicing against all these guys every day makes me a better player,” said Lohrei.
“Kind of growing up together and seeing him grow as a player, and blossom into the great player he is now. It’s super cool to watch,” said Schmaltz.