It was a dream come true for Hudson Elynuik on Tuesday night, as the 15-year-old donned a Kootenay Ice uniform and played in his first career WHL game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Elynuik, the third-round selection by the Ice in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, made the trip from Calgary to slide into the lineup, which is missing Zach McPhee and Levi Cable to injuries.
Elynuik, wearing No. 16, took Cable’s spot alongside Luke Philp and Brock Montgomery, and got rewarded with an assist on Montgomery’s goal in the second period.
“It was a great play, too,” said Elynuik. “Me and Philly were just forechecking and I poked to the puck to Philp, and he passed it out to Montgomery, and he shot, got the rebound and buried.”
Elynuik, who has been playing Midget AAA with the Calgary Flames in the AMHL, arrived in Cranbrook on Sunday and will be with the club up until Saturday’s final regular season game.
It’s been a week of watching and learning, he said.
“It’s a huge step from Midget, it’s way faster, big guys out there, way faster pace, harder passes—the next level to making it to the big leagues or better,” Elynuik said.
Kootenay Ice general manager Jeff Chynoweth got together with his head coach Ryan McGill and head scout Garnet Kazuik to make a decision on bringing up a player.
“We are short bodies,” said McGill, after Tuesday’s game. “He’s a big kid, and his season’s over. This still is about developing players and getting your young guys in to see what they can do and I thought he was fine tonight.”