Railers fans in Worcester have come to see Kyle McKenzie as one of their own, which is understandable, given he’s been with the team their three years in the league. What they may not know is how close he came to hanging up his skates for good when he was a teenager after suffering a deep personal loss. It was only a sort of last-ditch suggestion that led to the now 26-year-old Railers veteran continuing his career.
“I was thinking about hanging them up my junior year of high school. I was kind of over it, really,” McKenzie, who has two older sisters and a younger brother, said recently. “My mother got me into hockey. She passed away when I was 13. It kind of took a little bit out of me there. I was ready to do something else.”
His father came up with the idea of suggesting McKenzie move to Dallas to stay with his uncle. There, he played his senior year of hockey at W.T. White High School. That led to him getting eyed for junior hockey. He ended up heading to Iowa and joining the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League. After two years of juniors, McKenzie was recruited by Providence College, where he played four years and graduated in 2017. He has played with the Railers ever since, including their inaugural 2017-18 season, when he appeared in 71 games.
Where once he was ready to walk away from the ice for good, McKenzie is now in no hurry.
“My main focus is still on hockey,” he said. “As long as I can play, I’m going to keep playing.”
Name: Kyle McKenzie
Hometown: Aston, Pa.
Team: Worcester Railers
If you weren’t playing hockey: I’d probably be doing sales somewhere. I’d probably move back home. I could end up in Worcester. I’ve been here three years now and the city’s kind of grown on me a bit. I was in Providence, too, so I’ve been in New England about seven years, and y girlfriend’s here. They’ve got the ballpark coming up, too. It’s really a lot different here now.
Favorite hobby: I’d have to say, probably, playing rummy with my roommates right now.
Favorite food: Gotta go with steak
Favorite restaurant: Miss Worcester Diner
Favorite place to hang out: Say my apartment
Favorite band/singer: Let’s go with Chris Cornell
Favorite song: “Like a Stone,” Chris Cornell
Favorite actor: Sam Elliott
Favorite movie and how many times you’ve seen it: “Tombstone,” I’ve probably seen it over 50 times.
Favorite social media platform: Probably Twitter (@Kyle_Mack3_)
Something most people don’t know about you: I can wiggle my ears