That is a great picture. And great form too, knees bent, arm tucked in ready to deliver a great check.
I never started playing until I was 16, other than pond hockey. Only got to play one season of travel league and one year of high school. Then after high school I decided to skip out on trying for juniors, just not in the cards. Then I just kinda was to busy with getting married and remodeling an entire house by the time I was 21. Then I need to pay for all that so stayed away from the ice until I was around 37.
It's a very hard sport to walk away from, with like you mentioned the friendships you build while playing. There are a few I played with that I still see playing with or against, and some of my best friends I have are all from hockey. This is almost the only thing I'll give up my free time in the shop for.