From first skates to the WHL: hockey Dad Daniel McLeod

Daniel McLeod is a local Dawson Creek resident and owner of Longhorn Oilfield Services. b He’s also Dad to Wyatt McLeod, 19, who is a current defence player for the WHL Edmonton Oil Kings, number 6.

The WHL (Western Hockey League) is one of three leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) which is the highest level of junior hockey in Canada.

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Wyatt is in his first year playing with the Oil Kings. Previously he had played with Colorado Avalanche Rookies in 2019, Pittsburgh Penguins Prospect team 2018, the POE U18 (Pursuit of Excellence Midget U18 team), and Dawson Creek Minor Hockey.

There were many people that have contributed to Wyatt’s success. A list of Wyatt’s coaches include Oil Kings head coach Steve Hamilton, the talented skill development coach Kip Noble, provincial finals coach Jason Rowley, Dawson Creek Minor Hockey, and Daniel McLeod himself.

Daniel taught all of his children to skate, and Wyatt could skate backwards by the time he was four years old.

Wyatt was born in Quesnel, BC with his siblings. Two sisters and one brother, later when the children were still young Daniel and wife Rena re-located back to Dawson Creek.

Wyatt would walk around the house with his toy hockey stick banging it on the floor saying “hockey, hockey, hockey!”

Daniel spent all of the children’s formative years coaching and managing minor hockey teams, taking many coaching courses and clinics in effort to be beneficial but by the time they hit Bantam “felt they surpassed anything he had to offer” where Wyatt then moved onto Pursuit of Excellence, a hockey academy.

Mother Rena worked tirelessly managing, volunteering, donated, and drove a million kilometers to get the boys to games.

“I remember when the boys were small, we had the three goal rule where each player was allowed three goals on the score sheet and any goals scored after that didn’t count. One time Wyatt was a lone defence player and the other team was carrying the puck and he ignored the rush and clear shot on the goalie instead angling the other player in the corner. When I asked him why he did that Wyatt said “oh dad you don’t need to worry about that guy he already has three goals.”

Daniel further states as a small town hockey dad he is humbled by Wyatt’s success. “Even as a little guy he had a better handle on the game than I did. Wyatt has always been a leader both on and off ice serving as a designated driver for his team mates making sure they got home safe, he is a real thinking player with a deep understanding of the game. When I walk into Rogers Place and watch my son play in front of 18,000 people, I sometimes have to pinch myself because it’s hard to believe that it’s true.”

© Copyright Dawson Creek Mirror News


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