A young Fernie hockey player has had his dream of playing in the Western Hockey League come true.
Jake MacLachlan, 14, has been drafted by the Red Deer Rebels.
“He wants to play at the highest level he can,” said Carole Peterson, MacLachlan’s mother. “Jake is realistic. Only a few kids make it to the WHL and it was one of his goals to be drafted to the league.
“The WHL is a great league, and the players never know if they will be drafted, they just hope they’ll get picked,” said Peterson. “I told him, ‘it’s like a pat on the back and a kick in the pants.’”
MacLachlan will now be watched carefully by the Rebels to see how he is developing.
Next year, when he turns 15, MacLachlan will be able to play a maximum of five games for the Rebels. When he turns 16 he can be a full player on the team.
MacLachlan has been attending Notre Dame College in the small town of Wilcox in Saskatchewan.
“It’s a prep school for grades nine to 12, but it’s really known for hockey,” said Peterson.
Several NHL hockey players have come out of Notre Dame including Vincent Lecavalier, who plays for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Brad Richards, who played for the Dallas Stars, and Keith Aulie, who plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
MacLachlan travelled with the hockey team from Notre Dame to Moscow, Russia to play in the Tretiak Cup last month.
“Most of the teams there were national teams,” said Peterson. “The teams were hand picked, and even though they didn’t win it was a really great experience for them to play hockey at such a high level.”
She said that many of the players on the Russian Red Army team don’t attend school and just play hockey.
“He met kids from all over the world, and toured Moscow,” said Peterson.
MacLachlan travelled to Kamloops at the end of April to represent Fernie on the Kootenay team at the B.C. Cup.
He was the only player to represent Fernie.
MacLachlan played minor hockey in Fernie and played hockey for three years in Cranbrook.