Carter Dereniwsky, son of Dean and Kristen Dereniwsky of Canora, has accomplished his dream of being drafted by the WHL (Western Hockey League.)
He was chosen by the Victoria Royals as the 39th overall selection in the second round of the WHL bantam draft held in Red Deer, Alta, for players born in 2004.
Dereniwsky, 15, was one of nine players selected by the Royals, and received a strong assessment at the Royals website.
“In his most recent campaign, the native of Canora, SK tallied 25 points (8g-17a) and 36 penalty minutes over 41 contests, as an under-age player, with the Yorkton Maulers of the Saskatchewan Midget Hockey League (SMHL.)
“Carter is an offensive forward, who is intelligent and highly skilled,” said Garry Pochipinski, senior east regional scout for the Royals. “He uses the whole ice surface and can score, as well as compete at a high level.”
Last season, the 5-8, 145 lb forward was selected by his coaches as the team’s most valuable player and rookie of the year.”
Of course, the draft was a big moment for the Dereniwsky family.
“Dean and I were excited, nervous and extremely proud when we heard that Carter had been drafted by the Royals,” said Kristen.
She said he has been playing hockey for most of his young life.
“Carter started his hockey career at two-and-a-half years of age. He played with his older brother Carson with the IP Canora Cobras.”
Carter played minor hockey in Canora until the age of 8, when he was a member of the Canora Novice Cobras. The following year he advanced to Tier 1 hockey in Yorkton. His mother said being involved in a high level of hockey required strong commitment from their family.
“With Carter playing AA hockey since atom we have put on a lot of miles as far south as Swift Current and as far north as Prince Albert. Every weekend was a double header which meant a lot of bus rides and hotel rooms,” said Kristen.
“Carter played six seasons of spring hockey. We have travelled to Kelowna, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Regina for tournaments. We drove twice a week to Yorkton for hockey practices for five years. We also drove to Virden, Man; Star City and Saskatoon for regular spring hockey practices.
“Many miles have been made for hockey and we would not change a thing.”
Kristen said while Carter has considerable skill, his dedication is what has allowed him to progress as a hockey player.
“Carter loves hockey and always has. Many hours of mini sticks and full-on hockey games have been played in our basement over the years. Even if Carter didn’t have anybody to play against he would spend hours in the basement practicing his stickhandling and shooting,” she recalled.
“Carter has a tremendous amount of drive and focus when it comes to hockey. This is why we feel he has had such success. Carter has never seen the game as work, as this is his passion. We believe his hockey development has resulted from a strong work ethic, good coaching and a supportive family.”
Dereniwsky said he’s very excited about his opportunity with the Royals.
“I am super excited to have the opportunity I have and am going to try my hardest to make the best out of the great situation I'm in.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to possibly represent Canora in the WHL.”
During the past season he took advantage of the opportunity to play on a midget team even though he was still eligible for bantam.
“I think that playing up this year developed me immensely because of the speed of the game and how fast you have to make decisions out there,” said Dereniwsky.
He said when his friend at Canora Composite School found out he had been drafted, he received many congratulations and was also asked a number of questions regarding what this opportunity means for his future.
“My long term goal for hockey is to play pro and be able to make a living off of the thing I love doing.”
Dereniwsky will attend the Victoria Royals exclusive draft camp on August 22 and 23 and then rookie camp August 24 to 26. He may be asked to stay for the team’s regular camp from August 26 to 29.
“The WHL allows 15-year-olds to play five games so we are hopeful he will get that opportunity to play a little this season,” said Kristen. “Providing he continues to develop he may have the opportunity to play for the Royals in the 2020-21 season as a 16-year-old.
“We are honoured to be a part of the Victoria Royals.”