There’s nothing like being drafted to the next level of your hockey journey.
It can be exciting, and something you’ll always remember.
But for Luke Vlooswyk the Red Deer Rebels first-round pick in the 2022 Western Hockey League Prospects Draft, he said prior to being selected 17th overall last week, it was downright nerve-wracking.
“The second the Rebels called out my name it was just pure joy. I mean we got our first choice organization and we couldn’t be happier with how things turned out,” Vlooswyk told the Advocate.
What perhaps helped ease his nerves, was the fact that Vlooswyk was able to hear the news while on vacation in Hawaii with his family.
The teen hopes to help the Rebels throughout his stint with the team by playing a solid game, bringing some offence, and reliability on defence but ultimately being a player who works his way up the depth chart through his play.
“I think a big part of my game that the fans can really look forward to is my playmaking ability, especially on the powerplay,” he explained. “I feel I can control the offensive zone really well, utilizing my shots, and then taking that shot opportunity and then using it to create passing lanes which leads to goals.”
The 2007-born defenceman is a born and raised Calgarian. He played the 2021-22 season with the U15 AAA Calgary Bisons where he produced eight goals and 25 points in 33 games. Earlier this week he also signed a Standard Player Agreement with the Rebels.
Being drafted by the Rebels was an ideal scenario for the blueliner. Not only family, but friends can watch games often, which is a special perk. The Rebels were front runners to select him throughout the draft process.
Next season the 15-year-old will be playing for the U18 AAA Calgary Buffaloes and throughout the season he hopes to play a few games with the Rebels.
“Looking into the year after as a 16-year old I want to be a full-time roster player on the Rebels. That’s kind of my goal for the next two years I’d say,” Vlooswyk said.
In his free time during the summer he enjoys golfing and also spending time with his family at their home in B.C. going out on their boat and wake surfing.
He said at a young age he began golfing, it doesn’t hurt that Vlooswyk’s mom Lisa is a professional golfer and an eight-time long drive champion.
The 15-year-old added he can’t wait to don the Rebels’ jersey.
“I’d just say to the fans big thanks. Coming to Red Deer we have a really promising future and I just can’t wait to get things started. There are big things to come.”