St. Albert player Ty Gordon will be heading to another "Albert" after being drafted 121st overall by the Prince Albert Raiders in last week’s Western Hockey League (WHL) draft.
Gordon played four games with the St. Albert U15 AAA Sabres in 2020-21 but recently moved to OHA Edmonton U16 Prep for this season, where has put up an impressive 17 goals and 29 points in just 15 games played.
He wasn’t the first one to find out as his mother, Krista Gordon, was actually on the way to pick him up from school when she saw the notification pop up on her phone.
“I was driving and had my phone beside me on the seat,” said Krista. “I was stopped at a light and looked at my phone and saw his name pop up under the Prince Albert Raiders.”
“I was pretty excited and I took that opportunity to give him a call.”
Meanwhile, Ty was still in class when he got the news of his selection. He said it was quite a whirlwind when the news reached him.
“I got a phone call from my agent that I was drafted to Prince Albert,” said Gordon. “I had one of my best friends in my class come out and give me a big hug so it was good to have him supporting me and all my friends in the class were happy for me … it was awesome.”
Getting drafted to the next level will always come as a shock no matter a player’s expectations, but Gordon had some reason to believe his name would eventually be called.
“My agent was telling me that I needed to have a good season to get drafted,” said Gordon. “I was ranked before coming in but I was looking forward to getting drafted and prepared all season for it.
“Just to know that I got drafted to a great team is so much weight off my shoulders and I don’t have to keep stressing about this. I can go out there and know I’m on a great team … it feels amazing.”
He won’t be leaving home yet, having to wait until the opportunity to play in the WHL presents itself, but when he does it might feel like more of a homecoming for him. Krista said Ty will have the luxury of having some family close by.
“It’s pretty cool because his dad is from Nipawin, Saskatchewan, which is probably an hour from Prince Albert,” said Krista. “We’re very excited that it isn’t that far from home and that he’ll have some relatives nearby.”
Gordon said he is looking forward to being able to lean on his family when he eventually starts to play in Prince Albert.
“Out of all the places I could have gone to, I went to a place where my grandparents are right beside,” said Gordon. “If I play a game down there they could come watch or if I need to visit them or stay with ... it’s amazing.”
Those games and visits will have to wait a little bit longer. For now, Gordon will return to play for the OHA Edmonton Prep U16 team where he plans on improving his game even more.
“I want to make some new friends around the league and work on my defensive positioning and finishing my hits,” said Gordon. “I’m a pretty offensive player but I need to work on that stuff.”
Fans interested in following Gordon’s career will have to wait a tiny bit as his league is on Christmas break. His team returns to action on Jan. 8 with a game against the Edge Prep U16 at the Edmonton Downtown Community Arena.