Written by: Blake Friars
When the WHL allowed players to play in the MJHL last week, teams raced to add players. The WHL announced that players could be loaned to the Junior A Leagues until December 20th. The Oil Caps went big fish hunting and landed Defenceman Daemon Hunt of the Moose Jaw Warriors. The Warriors drafted Hunt 15th overall in the 2017 Bantam Draft. He made the team as a 16-year old and played a significant role on the back end, tallying 20 points in 57
games. Hunt, a 3rd round pick (65th) overall by the Minnesota Wild in the 2020 NHL Draft, has played three seasons with the WHL after playing his AAA in Brandon. An interesting fact is that Oil Caps Head Coach/GM Tyson Ramsey coached Hunt with the AAA Wheat Kings.
Hunt has quite the resume himself; He played for Team Canada Black at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, represented Canada at the 2018 IIHF U18 World Championship, and won a silver medal at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Hunt is set to attend the 20201 World Junior Camp in mid-November; the Tournament is scheduled to begin December in Edmonton. He was projected to be a late first/second-round pick in the NHL Draft before suffering an injury this past season that limited him to just 28 games.
Hunt practiced with the Oil Caps for the first time Monday, and all signs point to him making his Oil Caps Debut Friday night in Winkler. Hunt has not played a live game since March 10th against the Saskatoon Blades.
Adding a player like Hunt to a team with some young players will do wonders, even if it is for a short amount of time. It’s not every day an NHL draft pick plays in the MJHL.
“Pretty exciting for us, for our guys and for us as an organization, and certainly happy to have Daemon here,” said Head Coach Tyson Ramsey. “He’s played with a couple of our players, and he’s a local guy here, so he fits into our group right away,” Ramsey added.
Hunt is not the only player affiliated with a WHL team playing in Virden. Winnipeg ICE’s 2nd overall draft pick, Conor Geekie has played the whole season with the team. Braeden Lewis (Swift Current) also began the year with the team. The team also has Grady Lane (Spokane), who had to wait to get a release to play in the MJHL, will most likely suit up this weekend in Winkler, where he played a year ago. Last week the Oil Caps brought back Garrett Sambrook (Swift Current), who brings experience to a young backend. The team also brought in Jake Poole (Kelowna). Poole played three regular-season games and two playoff games last season with the Oil Capitals.
“I feel like we’re conscious of our guys and our team, and at the same time, giving some of these guys a chance to play,” Ramsey said. “It’s a bit of a balancing act, but part of what we want to do here is help develop our guys. So, what better way to have our guys develop a little bit by practicing with some of these guys and watching some of the things that they do every day,” added Ramsey.
The Oil Caps next game action will be Friday night in Winkler. Puck drop is 7:30 P.M