The Winnipeg Ice’s first-ever draft class features a Peace River native.
Carter Spirig of Peace River was selected in the eighth round, 169th overall by the Winnipeg Ice during last week’s 2019 Western Hockey League draft. With his selection the 2004-born forward joins special company, as he becomes a member of the Ice in their inaugural draft class. This upcoming season will be the first for the new Winnipeg franchise, after the teams’ re-location from Cranbrook.
Currently fourteen years old, Spirig has re-located several times throughout Alberta during his young life after initially being born in Peace River. The late round WHL draft pick would begin playing his minor hockey in Edmonton, before continuing his hockey journey to Fort McMurray. After a few years in Fort Mac, Spirig would then join Fort Saskatchewan Minor Hockey — where he’s spent the last two seasons.
This past season Spirig would garner the attention of Western Hockey League scouts, after putting up 39 points in 33 games in Bantam AAA. In conversation with Trending 55 News, the Peace River born forward would give his thoughts on this past season.
“I thought I had a strong season,” said Spirig. “It was a pretty good season and we won, which is always a bonus.”
During the course of the season Spirig also had an opportunity to suit up for one game with Fort Saskatchewan Minor Hockey’s Midget team, and despite only being fourteen, Spirig says he didn’t feel out of place.
“I felt right at home,” said the FSMH product. “I played Bantam AAA last year, so I’ve already played with a lot of those guys in my first year.”
A noted power-forward, the 145-pound fourteen-year-old says that he describes his game as one which involves a lot of physical, gritty play. With the Western Hockey League being home to some of the toughest junior hockey in Canada — Spirig then spoke about whether he plans on continuing the same gritty style going forward, and if he’d be someone who would drop the gloves if called upon.
“Yeah for sure,” said Spirig. “I mean I don’t really have plans for it, but If I have to will for sure.”
When it comes to his strengths on the ice, Spirig attributes his work ethic and skating ability as two of his strongest qualities. Over his past two years in the AMBHL, Spirig has totalled 60 points in 69 regular season games, while adding 14 points in just 16 playoff games. In his team’s most recent playoff run, Spirig scored at a point a game pace while leading his team to the championship.
The 169th draft choice of the Winnipeg Ice knows there’s still much to improve upon, and then talked about what his daily approach is like to getting better.
“I work a lot on my stick-handling and speed,” said Spirig. “I know I can always get better at those.”
With his selection in last week’s WHL draft, Carter Spirig will now hope to take his game to the next level where he can eventually take a crack at making a Western Hockey League line-up. Spirig then spoke about how it feels to be a member of the Winnipeg Ice’s first-ever draft class.
“It feels really good,” said the 169th overall pick. “Hopefully I’ll get to play in their new facility soon so that will be cool.”
Joining Spirig in having his name called during last week’s WHL draft would be four of his teammates from FSMH, including Owen Boucher, who was also selected by Winnipeg.
–Alex Rodgerson, Trending 55 News