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Six Airdrie hockey players selected in WHL Prospects Draft

Six Airdrie hockey players saw their names called in the WHL Prospects Draft on May 19.
Five members of this season's Airdrie Xtreme roster were selected in the WHL Prospects Draft on May 19.

Growing up watching Calgary Flames games, Airdrie's Wyatt Pisarczyk always dreamt of playing on the fabled ice at the Scotiabank Saddledome. 

In a few years, the 14-year-old defenseman's dream may become a reality, after hearing his name called by the Calgary Hitmen in the second round of the Western Hockey League (WHL) Prospects Draft on May 19. The Airdrie Xtreme captain was selected by the Hitmen as the 29th overall pick. 

Pisarczyk said he was aware the Hitmen were interested in him, as the Calgary team's coaches had reached out the week before the draft to inform him they were planning to call his name in the second round.

“It feels great,” he said. “Staying close to home is great for me.

“[The Hitmen] are a great organization and I can’t wait for what the future holds.”

Pisarczyk captained the Xtreme last season, leading the U15 AAA squad to a spot in the provincial championships after finishing first in the Alberta Elite Hockey League's south division. 

Though he still has at least one more season of minor hockey to play before he is eligible to feature in the WHL, Pisarczyk said he is excited to showcase his abilities to the Hitmen coaches during the major junior team's upcoming spring camp.

Turning 15 in July, Pisarczyk said he hopes to play just the one year of U18 hockey, but acknowledged it may be advantageous to wait until he is a year or two older before making the jump to junior.

“You never know what will happen, if I don’t grow fast enough or whatever,” he said. “I’ll just take my time and really figure things out before I make a rushed decision. I want to make sure it’s the right decision at the right time. When the Hitmen feels I’m ready to play for them, I’ll be ready to go.”

While being selected in the WHL draft is a big moment in a hockey player's career, Pisarczyk acknowledged the real work starts now.

“I think this is where I need to start putting in even more effort than I already have,” he said. “I’m not at my goal yet – I want to make the NHL and have the longest career I can. This is where it starts and I’m looking forward to it.”

Pisarczyk was not the only Airdrie hockey product selected in this year's WHL draft. Two other Xtreme players who saw their names called May 19 include both of the AAA team's goaltenders, Corbin Sanderman and Cruz Chase.

A native of Three Hills, Alta., Sanderman was selected in the fourth round as the 86th overall pick by the Everett Silvertips, while Chase was chosen by the Regina Pats in the seventh round as the 136th overall pick.

“The Everett program is a very good program for goalies,” Sanderman said. “They develop a lot of high-end goalies, so I’m pretty excited to get the chance to go there and hopefully one day play there.”

The 15-year-old goaltender added it was an exciting moment to be selected in the WHL draft, adding he feels his coachability, work ethic, and competitiveness are the attributes that will suit him well when he travels to Washington State for the Silvertips' training camp.

Other Xtreme players who were selected include defenseman Jaxen Adam, who was selected by the Tri-City Americans as the 90th overall pick in the fifth round, and Mitchell DaCoste, who was selected by the Prince George Raiders as the 145th pick in the seventh round.

“They had a great season as well and obviously helped out our team,” said Pisarczyk of his teammates also hearing their names called in the draft. “We had a pretty great season, so that shows where the talent came from.”

Noah Degenstein, an Airdrie-based player for the Edge School's U15 prep team, was another local product whose name was called on May 19. Degenstein was selected as the 36th overall pick in the second round by the Moose Jaw Warriors.

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