Crofton’s famous Blace hockey family has attained another claim to fame.
Wyatt Blace was among four players with ties to the Cowichan Valley selected in the Western Hockey League Prospects Draft on Thursday, May 19. He went in the seventh round, 139th overall, to the Calgary Hitmen.
Wyatt is the youngest of the Blace family hockey stars, following in the footsteps of older brother Braden, a defenceman, who has become a mainstay with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the B.C. Hockey League the last two seasons.
Wyatt, a right winger who turned 15 in February, posted nearly two points per game this season with the Pacific Coast Hockey Academy U15 Prep team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. He had 59 points on 22 goals and 37 assists in 30 games in his first season at the Academy.
“I had a pretty successful season,” Blace confided.
Being selected in the WHL draft is always exciting for young players like Blace, as they look toward their hockey futures.
“I was hoping I was going to get drafted, but a little higher would have been nice,” he conceded. “I’m just happy I got drafted and I was happy with Calgary.”
Blace said he’ll go to the Hitmen’s training camp this fall and then see if he’ll continue on that route or look at the BCHL like his brother. “I haven’t quite decided that yet,” he said.
In the short term, dad Gary Blace indicated Wyatt is committed to returning to Pacific Coast Hockey Academy to play with the U18 Prep team next season.
He went out from the U15s in a blaze of glory. “I was the oldest age I could be,” Blace pointed out of his division.
The team, however, wasn’t among the cream of the crop. “In the regular season we came sixth and lost in overtime in the quarterfinals,” he added.
Prior to joining the Pacific Coast Hockey Academy, Blace played in the Hockey Super League for two seasons with the Westcoast Wild Hockey Academy program run by his uncle Brett Hopwo.
Blace, with his Squamish Nation heritage, also won a bronze medal with Team BC at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Membertou, Nova Scotia May 7-14. He was just notified May 24 about making it to the U16 Provincial Camp in the BC Hockey process of selecting a team for the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Summerside, P.E.I.
A lot’s been happening for a young man with a huge upside in hockey. His all-around play that includes passing skill makes him a highly-regarded prospect.
“I’d say I play a physical game, but I can make plays and I can score,” Blace said in a self-analysis.
Those impressive statistics last season certainly state that case.