Nicolet National Bank Senior Spotlight: Callan Budinger – Notre Dame Academy boys’ hockey
By Murray Gleffe
Name: Callan Budinger
Nicknames: Buddy, Cal
School: Notre Dame Academy
Parents: Gretchen and Dan Budinger
Sport: Boys’ hockey
Notre Dame Academy senior Callan Budinger has helped lead his team to back-to-back Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Division 1 state hockey appearances.
Budinger has accumulated close to 50 points (assists and goals) the past two years.
As a senior captain this season, he has 12 goals and eight assists through 15 games.
Talk about your honors so far in your career.
“I received all-state honorable mention my junior year and FRCC (Fox River Classic Conference) honorable mention my sophomore and junior years.”
What’s your favorite video game?
“My teammates and I play NHL (National Hockey League) and occasionally Fortnite.”
Thoughts on ESPN+ bringing more than 1,000 games to the network?
“I love it because it gives hockey more exposure, and it’s easier for me to watch the games.”
Favorite NHL team?
“Detroit Red Wings.”
How good are Canadian juniors compared to American juniors?
“It all depends on the league. There are good players from both countries.”
What’s the best check you’ve ever given?
“I’d rather get the puck than focus on looking for the big check. It takes much-needed energy away.”
What’s the greatest piece of advice somebody has told you?
“Be yourself. Work harder than everyone else and enjoy the moment.”
What’s your favorite hockey fight of all time?
“Bob Probert fighting Marty McSorley. I’ve watched the video (of the former players) on YouTube many times.”
If you could be somebody for a day, who would it be?
“Neil Armstrong (the first person to walk on the moon) because he’s someone who took a huge risk and was confident in his abilities.”
How often do you sharpen your skates?
“I have four sets of replacement blades, so I can keep my edges sharp without worrying if I lose an edge during a game or practice. I only sharpen them every couple of weeks.”
What’s your favorite phone app?
“Retro Bowl. My friends and I play on long trips whenever we need to pass time.”
What’s the best flooded rink you’ve played on as a kid?
“It’s the one my dad made in the backyard of our house. When the winter season is over, we use the space for a pickleball court.”
How much does the way a Zamboni driver puts down water affect your play?
“Sometimes, the Zamboni driver will put too much water on the ice, and this makes the puck stick to the ice, which can make it hard to make plays.”
What’s one thing other teammates or coaches don’t know about you?
“I want to take a couple of years in my life to be a fishing or hunting guide and travel the world.”
What are your college aspirations?
“To play college hockey and pursue a business degree.”
How fast have you been timed going from the near boards to the far boards?
“When I was in the seventh grade, my skating coach timed me skating around the four dots of the rink in 14 seconds.”
What’s your favorite moment you’ve experienced so far in your life?
“Exploring Montana. I had never experienced a place like this, and I soon realized how peaceful it was.”
What one word describes you?
What’s your favorite music genre before a game?
Would you rather settle down in a big city or a non-populated mountainous region?
“Non-populated mountainous region because I could explore the outdoors.”
What sport would be cool if the WIAA added it?
“During the winter, it would be fun to participate in curling. Many people are not familiar with it in our area.”
Who’s your favorite hockey player?
“Pavel Datsyuk (Russian) because he’s levelheaded and an unbelievable hockey player who plays a complete game.”