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Olds’ Ronan Seeley takes pride in representing his hometown during World Juniors

Seeley was drafted by Hurricanes in 2020
Canada’s Ronan Seeley (8), Mavrik Bourque (22) and Mason McTavish (23) celebrate a goal against Russia during the first period of IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship exhibition action in Edmonton, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

As the 2022 U20 World Junior Hockey Championship commenced in Edmonton earlier this week Ronan Seeley is grateful for not only representing his country on the ice but also his hometown of Olds, Alta.

“I think it’s a decently big deal for the people of Olds to have a player in the World Juniors and I take great pride in it and I’m very grateful for what the Town of Olds has done for me and how it’s helped me get to where I’m at,” Seeley said.

The 20-year-old defenceman is one of five players on the Canadian roster from Alberta and the team has had a dominant start so far defeating Latvia 5-2 and Slovakia 11-1.

Seeley has dreamt about playing for Canada since he was a boy and he said it’s lived up to his expectations.

“There’s always a proud moment when you put on the jersey and that hasn’t changed. It’s been amazing so far,” he said.

This is Seeley’s second time after he played for Team Canada White at the World U17 Hockey Challenge in 2018. He was also a member of the Canadian team at the U20 World Junior Hockey Championship last December before it got cancelled in Red Deer and Edmonton.

There’s added pressure for Canada to perform but Seeley said growing up in the country we’re taught Canada is on top of the hockey world and they’re expected to win.

“It’s not a surprise when you get here and there’s high expectations for you as a player and you understand that and you accept that,” he said. “The staff here really help you with that pressure and of course the players too. They’re all supportive and they’re all in the same position as you.”

His family has come up from Olds to watch a few games and said it’s been nice to have the tournament so close to home.

Growing up in Olds Seeley moved around to play minor hockey in a few different areas around the province including Airdrie, bantam hockey in Red Deer, and spent a year away from home in Lethbridge to play midget hockey.

Playing Red Deer he explained was a great experience and the organization treated him well.

“Ultimately helped me get to where I am today so I definitely can’t complain at all,” he said.

In the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Seeley was selected 208th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes. He explained he plays the game because of his goal to play in the NHL.

“I know lots of people didn’t get that chance and for me, I have that opportunity, I have that chance, and I’ve been blessed with that. I’m very grateful for it and so I always wanted to do what I can to pursue it and I’m going to do what I can to get to that next level,” he said. “It’s just my passion and I’m just very lucky to be in the place I am today.”

Looking back at the draft he couldn’t be happier to be with the Hurricanes but admitted at the time it was a tough day because he fell down the draft board than originally expected.

“To be drafted by Carolina they’re quite a good organization, especially for a player like me. That day maybe wasn’t the best and didn’t turn out to be what I wanted it to be but looking back I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out,” he said.

He has played the last four seasons with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League. Last season he contributed 11 goals and 33 assists for 44 points and after the season he visited the Hurricanes’ American Hockey League affiliate Chicago Wolves for a couple of weeks. While there he learned the system to hopefully be a member of the team next season.

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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