© Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
Moose Jaw Warriors winger Jordan Wyton can't beat Tri-City Americans goalie Eric Comrie Sunday night in front of Americans right winger Brian Williams.
Leaving Moose Jaw was the hardest decision of Jordan Wyton’s hockey career.
Thursday Wyton opened camp with the reigning Junior A national champion Brooks Bandits, but he said it was hard to say goodbye to the Friendly City.
“It was probably the hardest hockey decision I’ve made in my career,” said Wyton. “To leave the group of guys that was there, to leave the coaching staff that was there and all of the support that I got from the city, it was an extremely hard decision for sure.”
Wyton was a three-year veteran of the Warriors. He was one of three 20-year-old forwards eligible to come back, but with his future very much uncertain with the Warriors he had to weigh his options.
Wyton said that knew that if Morgan Rielly stayed with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL, it was likely that the Warriors were going to be looking for a 20-year-old defenceman to help fill that void.
“I wanted to have solid roots and know I was going to stay somewhere in my last year,” said Wyton. “I didn’t really want to bounce around the WHL in my last year and maybe play for two or three different teams.”
A well-respected member of the Warriors, Wyton didn’t have a lot of luck in his time in Moose Jaw. He broke his hand in practice just before the 2012 playoffs. He only played 35 games last year as he battled through a frustrating, injury-plagued season. He still posted career highs with five goals and 10 points and he said he’s put the injury out of his mind and is focusing on the future.
“I’m 100 per cent healed now,” said Wyton who played one game and scored a goal as a 16-year-old in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Canmore Eagles. “I want to try to be a leader here. I want to put up some more offensive numbers than I have in my WHL career. I don’t really have numbers in mind, but I would like to be more of an offensive players.”
The Bandits have won two straight AJHL titles and would love to repeat as RBC Cup champions. There has been some turnover, but Wyton said that there’s a solid core from last season’s title team that’s back.
“We’re hoping (for another RBC Cup run). It’s about half new players, but the core is still here,” said Wyton who noted that with six 20-year-old spots in Junior A, there’s sizable turnover from year to year. “It would be nice to win another league championship here and an RBC championship would be an even better way to finish off my career.”