The Chicago Wolves are committed to social equality year-round, which means our organization strives to be a megaphone for compassion and positivity, to acknowledge and honor our local heroes and trailblazers, to raise the level of knowledge regarding the issues of race, diversity and inclusion and to do our best to create opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue.
Throughout February, the Chicago Wolves and Checkers are partnering to commemorate Black History Month by placing the spotlight on several Black players who have excelled on the ice (and off) for the Wolves over the years.
Scooter Vaughan was a team leader during his three season with the Wolves (2015-18). He provided valuable versatility with his ability to play forward and defenseman — and his well-rounded skill set enabled him to play any style required on a particular night. His charisma and his ability to connect with everybody made him a favorite in the room.
And off the ice? The Placentia, California, native’s intelligence and sense of curiosity made him a wonderful ambassador in the community. In 2017 he founded Kids For Camps, a charity with the goal to to build brighter futures for lower-income youth by giving them a chance to attend sports or arts camps on scholarship.
“I’m really proud of the Wolves and the reaction we’ve gotten from people when we’ve done community events,” Vaughan said in 2018. “I have met some awesome people along the way. Hopefully we’ve helped change some lives and we’ve made some people happy.”
The American Hockey League recognized Vaughan’s effort and largesse by naming him the winner of the 2018 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award that goes to the league’s Man of the Year. Since retiring from hockey, Vaughan has parlayed his keen business sense with his ability to bring people together to create several lucrative businesses.
To learn more about what makes Scooter Vaughan tick, click here.
This big-hearted Manitoba native played a crucial role on the Wolves’ 2019 Calder Cup Finals squad. Blessed with a prototypical power forward’s size and agility, Kolesar also owned a skill set that enabled him to rack up 20 goals and 16 assists during the 2018-19 regular season along with six goals and five assists in 21 playoff games that season.
After taking his creative ability to another level during the 2019-20 season — he handed out 15 assists in just 33 games for the Wolves — “Keegs” earned his NHL debut with the Vegas Golden Knights on Jan. 11, 2020, and has spent all of the last two seasons with Vegas.
When asked in 2019 why he always has been so straight-forward and unguarded — a joy to be around — he credited his mother, Corrinne Peterson, and his grandparents, Nick and Barb Cornett.
“My mom is everything,” Kolesar said. “She has gone to battle for me more than anyone. She’s gone to lengths and distances beyond belief for me. She’s amazing.
“And my grandparents have been huge for me as well. When I was born, we lived with them for a time. And if I ever needed somewhere to go or somewhere to be, it was always my grandparents. Even today, if I needed them to come out here and help me out with anything, they’d be here in a heartbeat. Those three are the biggest rocks I have in my life.”
To learn more about Keegan Kolesar and what he wants people to know about social equality, click here.
On Jan. 5, 2011, Nigel Dawes etched his name into the Chicago Wolves record book when he scored 4 goals in a 9-3 Wolves victory over the Toronto Marlies at Allstate Arena. At the time, he joined Dan Currie as the only players in Wolves history to score 4 in a game.
The Winnipeg native produced 27 goals in just 47 games for the Wolves in 2010-11 before moving halfway around the world to create some more history. From 2011 to 2021, Dawes played in the Kontinental Hockey League and piled up 267 goals and 237 assists in 543 regular-season games. When he announced at the end of the 2020-21 season that he was shifting to Germany’s top league, Dawes was hailed as the KHL’s top-scoring non-Russian player in the league’s history.
Chatfield has only been with the Wolves for half of one season, but he already has made a big impact on the ice. After scoring just 2 goals in his first 160 pro games dating back to his 2017 debut with the AHL’s Utica Comets, Chatfield promptly scored four goals in the Wolves’ first eight games this season.
The Ypsilanti, Michigan, native scored in three straight games from Oct. 31 to Nov. 7, which made him just the third Wolves defenseman in the last 17 years to go on a three-game streak. He joined good company in Nic Hague, who currently plays on the Vegas Golden Knights’ top pairing, and Vince Dunn, who won the 2019 Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues and currently plays every night for the Seattle Kraken.
Chatfield spread the credit around when asked about his hot start, which earned him a recall by the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and seven games in their lineup.
“(It’s) the team, the system,” Chatfield said. “A lot of hard work in the summers. A lot of things that go into it that people don’t know. A big thing for me, too, is just shooting the puck and working on my shot a lot. (I was) skating every day, working on scoring, just constantly trying to improve my game. At the end of the day, I just want to come in here and be the best teammate and contribute the most I can. Whatever helps. If it’s defensively, if it’s offensively, that’s what I’m here for.”