Kyle Ward, left, has been called by the Saint John Seadogs, while Julian Galloway got the call from the Rimouski Oceanic.
It’s been a long time, perhaps never, since a young Sackville hockey player was ever drafted into major junior hockey but this time it happened not once but twice after both young men had outstanding seasons with the powerful Moncton Midget AAA Flyers.
Kyle Ward, along with his parents, was sitting in the stands of the arena in Sherbrooke when his name was called by the Saint John Seadogs, while Julian Galloway found about it when he received a phone call from his father while driving home from Riverview where he had been playing first base in a baseball game.
“We let out a big group yell,” said Ward, who was chosen in the ninth round, the same ranking as his teammate Galloway. “We had talked about the draft but it was really nice when it finally happened and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”
Ward has already obtained a personal trainer and is being serious about his hockey future. Five times a week for up to two hours he is put through some rigorous body building exercises in Moncton in preparation for what is to come. He expects to meet with team officials within the week and learn much more leading up to the pre-season training camp in August.
Ward already recognizes that his coach – Ross Yates – was one of the most outstanding young men ever to perform with the Mounties and built up some amazing statistics before turning professional. He set an American League scoring record and spent some time with Hartford in the NHL.
Ward is especially pleased to have been chosen by one of the New Brunswick teams as he will be near his home and be able to complete his high school in the province.
Galloway who put together an amazing season with a 1.81 goals against average and a save percentage of .935 will be going to the Rimouski Oceanic and feels more than comfortable with the decision by the Quebec squad that has an outstanding record.
The young goalie has led his league for three consecutive years in saves and average tends to credit it to being with a championship team.
He has spoken with a Rimouski official by phone and will be meeting with him later in the week in order to iron out many of the details and will also prepare himself for the August training camp.
“I’m pretty happy,” says Galloway, “but being drafted is just the first step along the road.”
Both Ward and Galloway are committed to an education and have agreed that if either or both aren’t quite ready they will return to the Flyers for another year of seasoning. However, Ward feels he has the tools to break into the Q league with the Seadogs as another step along the way to a career in hockey.
Meanwhile, Galloway has some knowledge of the Oceanic. He has met Peter Trainor who led the team for four seasons, including a 100-point effort in 2012-13 and is aware of how successful the franchise has been.
Both young men got their grounding in the Sackville minor hockey system and each has a great deal of support throughout the region for the manner in which they have demonstrated their outstanding skills. It now remains for each to show they are ready to make the big jump while they have one more year of midget eligibility.