Mike Testwuide can be described as the epitome of a team player.
The Colorado native began his athletic career on the slopes rather than at the rink, ski racing. His days were spent at the Vail Ski Resort, honing his skills on the largest single mountain resort in the USA.
But ski racing is very much an individual sport. While the extroverted Testwuide loved skiing, he yearned to be part of a team.
And that is why he chose to play hockey.
"I started playing around age 9 or 10," he told CalgaryFlames.com. "My family is big into skiing but I really like a team aspect.
"I really enjoy having teammates and I thrive under a team atmosphere."
Testwuide immediately took to the sport and had a natural aptitude for the game. He made the decision to attend Northwood School in Lake Placid, NY, enrolling in their hockey program. The school has helped numerous young athletes further their careers and 13 of their graduates have went on to play in the NHL, including Flames special assistant to the general manager Craig Conroy.
"Going there ... that's when I decided that, hopefully, hockey was going to be my future."
He ended up playing in the USHL with the Waterloo Black Hawks for two seasons, amassing 20 goals and 41 points 100 games. Testwuide moved on to Colorado College after his USHL tenure, suiting up for the Tigers for four campaigns.
Testwuide made great strides offensively during his time in Colorado. In his freshman year, he managed 10 points (eight goals, two assists) in 29 games. He doubled that in his sophomore year, racking up 11 goals and 10 assists in 33 outings.
He hit a bit of an offensive road block in his third season with the Tigers but bounced back with a strong senior campaign that saw him rattle off 21 goals and 31 points.
Testwuide was a highly sought-after prospect in his senior year and the Flyers were able to convince him to sign with their organization on Mar. 19, 2010. Some expected the winger to make the Flyers team right out of camp that year but a log-jam of forwards pushed him on the Adirondack Phantoms roster in 2010-11.
His first season in the AHL can only be described as a resounding success. Testwuide notched 18 goals and 39 points in 76 outings and was plus-12 on the year. His offensive output dropped the following year when he scored 12 goals and 29 points in 66 games.
This year, Testwuide wasn't been able to get into an offensive groove with the Phantoms and has found the back of the net just two times this season. He's looking forward to making the move to Abbotsford and the new chapter in his career.
"I'm super excited to have a new opportunity ahead of me," Testwuide said. "The Flyers have a great organization and were great to me. But it's going to be nice to go somewhere new and have a fresh start."
While Testwuide faced the Heat just once in his career - a game in Abbotsford during his rookie season - he has heard plenty about the organization from his older brother J.P. The elder Testwuide played 18 games for the Heat in 2011-12 when he was loaned to team from the Chicago Wolves.
"He loved everything about the organization. He loved playing for Troy Ward and Luke Strand. He holds the entire coaching staff in high regard. He's excited for me to experience what he did."
The 26 year-old brings a physical element to the Heat's roster. He describes himself as a power forward and loves playing a gritty, in-your-face style of game.
"I like to make plays but I'm more of a big power forward kind of guy that likes to get his nose dirty once and awhile."
Testwuide departs for Abbotsford early on Tuesday morning and should arrive in British Columbia late that evening. He will be available to play in Abbotsford's game on Friday against the Houston Aeros.