An Okotoks Junior A Oiler has found the third time is a charm.
Kyle Reynolds, 18, signed with the Oilers as a 15-year-old Midget. After two previous attempts to make the team, the Sylvan Lake native finally made the cut this fall.
“When I was 15, I came to spring camp and then signed when Garry (VanHereweghe) was the coach,” Reynolds said. “When I was 16, I didn’t have a very good training camp and I was cut. Last year, I was one of the last forwards before I got cut.”
He has made the cut and more this season. Reynolds was third on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 17 assists after the Oilers’ 4-3 victory over the Canmore Eagles Saturday night.
Reynolds is glad he’s in Okotoks — especially playing for coach Dan MacDonald, who is a minor legend in Red Deer hockey lore.
“One of the reasons I came here is because I knew Dan was coming here, and I knew he was very successful,” Reynolds said. “He had coached the AAA Midget team in Red Deer that went to nationals a couple of times.”
Reynolds has played the last two seasons playing Midget AAA in Red Deer. He said the high quality of play in the Alberta Junior A Hockey League has forced him to adapt quickly.
“It’s faster for sure,” he said. “My passing has gotten way better since I made the jump up,” Reynolds said. “It has to be better to make it in this league.”
As for the faster speed, that’s fine with him. He said his speed is his strongest attribute. Despite being one of the smaller players at 5’9’’ and 155 pounds, Reynolds gets involved in the middle of the fray.
“He plays big,” MacDonald said. “His speed and conscientiousness makes him a real presence on the ice. “He’s a very tenacious player.”
By Bruce Campbell
sports Editor, The Western Wheel