How often does a professional athlete's first season at the highest level of sport end with a trophy in their hands.
One could argue not so much, but that's what happened to Jalen Chaster in completing a year he certainly will not forget.
The Coquitlam rookie laid everything he had on the floor in helping the Colorado Mammoth win the 2022 National Lacrosse League (NLL) championship last Saturday (June 18) in a 10-8 win over the Buffalo Bandits.
The Mammoth won the best-of-three finals, 2-1, and had to rally from an 0-1 start to ultimately claim their second title in team history — their first since 2006.
Chaster compiled four points, including three assists, in seven playoff games en route to hoisting the NLL Cup.
The 22-year-old player scored his first career post-season goal in Game Three of the western conference final, which ended up being the insurance marker Colorado needed to defeat the San Diego Seals 2-1 in the series.
The transitional player also picked up 13 loose balls and caused two turnovers in the playoffs, both in Game Two of the final.
Chaster made his name known throughout his first pro season, and recorded several memories along the way.
In fact, his first career NLL points were tallied not far from home on the floor of Rogers Arena in front of family and friends.
The Centennial Secondary 2017 grad potted a goal and added an assist in Colorado's 18-15 win over Vancouver back on Jan. 7.
That would lead to five points (two goals and three assists) in Chaster's rookie campaign across 16 games, helping the Mammoth claim third place in the western conference with a 10-8 regular-season record.
He picked up four loose balls and caused a turnover in his pro debut on Dec. 11, 2021, at Denver's Ball Arena.
Chaster was taken by the Mammoth in the second round, 31st overall in the 2020 NLL Entry Draft.
He's also property of the Coquitlam Adanacs in the Western Lacrosse Association (WLA), with whom he's likely to join for the remainder of their 2022 season and currently sit in second place with a 5-2-0-1 record.
Chaster was drafted to the senior squad in 2021 after putting up three goals and 12 assists in 21 games for the Jr. Adanacs in 2019 — the last time leagues were able to compete after the 2020 season was cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information on the Adanacs' season, you can visit the team's website.
Coquitlam is set to play a home-and-home series this weekend against the Burnaby Lakers starting Friday (June 24), 7:30 p.m. at Bill Copeland Arena.
They return to the Palace on Poirier, the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex, on Saturday (June 25) at 7 p.m.