Langdon hockey player returns from first Canada Winter Games

Langdon hockey player Kyle McDonough (16) recently returned from Prince Edward Island, representing Alberta at his first Canada Winter Games.

McDonough said in order to make it to the national stage, he had to first go through tryouts through the Alberta Cup last year before being sorted down into the best of the province.

“We had to try out to make the team, and I’m pretty sure that was the Top 120. From there, they picked the Top 80 kids in Alberta and that was a five-day camp,” he said. “Then, we got selected down to the Top 33 and they scouted us out all the way up until December throughout our season. Then the final list was announced for Team Alberta.”

The announcement of his selection for Team Alberta came only a few months after being officially drafted to the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL.

McDonough described the whole experience as being something of a dream come true being able to represent the province on the national stage, as well as finding a place to continue advancing his career.

“It was unbelievable, I couldn’t believe how crazy it was, being a part of such a great organization, such a great team and such a great tournament,” he said. “I got drafted to the Portland Winterhawks last June … and then went out to their camp and signed … and got to play a preseason game. I’m looking forward to going up and practicing with the team and maybe getting a game in at the end of March-ish.”

Team Alberta ended up placing fifth overall by the end of the Canada Winter Games. The tournament took place from Feb. 20 to 25.

The young athlete added he’s been skating since the age of two, and playing hockey since he was four years old.

His draft year came when he was 15, which he described as common to everyone looking to catch the attention of larger teams.

“Obviously, I really wanted to get drafted, but I just played my game and it ended up working out the best for me. I just didn’t really focus on it,” he said.

Going forward, McDonough has aspirations to one day play for the NHL, and barring that, coaching strength and conditioning to young athletes for the next generation.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times