A number of Moose Jaw Warriors prospects got the chance to make their WHL debuts last weekend as part of the holiday call-ups.
16-year-old defenceman Royce Rossignol played in a pair of games, 15-year-old forward Jayden Halbgewachs made his debut in his hometown on Thursday in Regina, and 15-year-old forward Ethan Williams got his first taste of WHL action on Saturday against the Pats.
“It’s definitely different from the hockey that I’ve been playing in the city (Winnipeg),” stated Williams after his first game. “It’s faster, guys are stronger, there’s a lot of puck movement.”
Williams debut game might not have went the way the Warriors wanted with a 5-1 loss to Regina, but he was able to get plenty of ice time during the third period with the game out of reach. “I thought I did alright for my first time. It took me two periods to get into it, but I slowly got into and went from there,” explained Williams.
Williams was a fifth round pick, 90th overall, in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft by the Warriors. He has been playing with the Winnipeg Hawks in the Winnipeg Midget AAA League this season, posting five goals and 11 points in 15 games.
“I’m usually the type of player to carry the puck and use my speed, but I like to hit too and make some plays,” described the 5’9” 160 lbs forward. “I’m definitely going to have to come in here (next year) and be tough and show them what I have.”
After getting his first exposure to the WHL game, Williams says he knows what he needs to do to stick with the team next year as a 16-year-old, “Definitely my size, need to work on getting more muscle and getting stronger on the puck. Also more puck movement.
“It definitely opened my eyes and made me look forward to going back and trying harder and working on the stuff I need to work on.”
Williams is still skating with the Warriors this week before he heads back to the Hawks for the remainder of the season. The Warriors are getting ready for a three game road trip to Alberta starting on Friday in Calgary.