Years of practice and determination have paid off for one Chestermere hockey goalie.
Jackson Berry was selected by the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Moose Jaw Warriors in the league’s draft May 4.
“I feel so excited to be selected by Moose Jaw.
“It has been a dream of mine since I was little so it feels great to be drafted into the WHL,” said Berry.
He credits being drafted to the success he has had in the past two seasons with his Bantam AAA team, the Rocky Mountain Raiders.
“I also have the size that teams are looking for and I am a very athletic goalie,” he said.
His mom, Jennifer Berry, said that they are very proud of him.
“We are very excited for Jackson and extremely proud.
“He has worked so hard the last couple of years to get to this point so it is great to watch him achieve one of his hockey goals,” she said.
Berry was competing in the Zone Badminton Championships while the draft was occurring. Jennifer said that they were streaming the draft live while they watched the badminton tournament.
“It was very surreal to see his name pop up,” she said, “we were so very happy for him as this is such a great accomplishment.”
Since he is not yet 16 years old, Berry can’t play for the Warriors next season. His goal is to make it onto the team’s main roster as soon as he is eligible to play.
“I hope one day to be a leading goaltender in the league with the Warriors,” he said.
To make this dream a reality, Berry is planning to use next hockey season to focus on improving all aspects of his game.
“I will have to focus on increasing my speed as the pace of the game is so much faster than what I am used to playing,” he said.
He plans to be on the ice or in the gym every day to get ready to play for Moose Jaw.
“I will also work one on one with my goalie coach over the summer and hope to show well at the Warriors main camp in August,” said Berry.
His Bantam hockey career has not taken him to Moose Jaw before and he is looking forward to his first visit to the city when he attends the Warrior’s prospects camp this June.
Two other Chestermere players also found success at the draft.
Kyle Crnkovic was selected by the Saskatoon Blades and Brayden Kapty was drafted to the Medicine Hat Tigers.