Blood, Sweat and ‘Yak’

It’s a coming-out party of sorts for #5 Aiden Yakimchuk, who is exemplifying what it means to be a hockey player and a leader.

The 19-year-old blue-liner received an ‘A’ on his sweater this season and has set the tone early on as the leader on the backend for the Drumheller Dragons. The 6’3, St. Albert born defenseman has shown consistency in his play to begin the season. A smooth skater, he appears to have gotten faster on the ice this year and has efficiently used his long stride to join the rush and create chances.

There are intangibles he brings to the table, as well. One such intangible that is imperative for any hockey player is toughness. Yakimchuk has certainly exceeded those expectations, as well. ‘Big Yak’ took a high-stick to the face in a game against the Bandits on September 20 which cost him four teeth and painted a brightly coloured red trail on the white ice, as well.

Despite the ensuing seven hours in the dentist chair, Yakimchuk was found in the gym the next day, which didn’t come as a surprise to Dragons assistant coach, Kenton Levesque, who runs the defense and works closely with Yakimchuk on a daily basis.

“Yaks is just an incredible person,” explains Levesque. “He sat in a chair for seven hours getting all his teeth repaired, and then the next morning at eight in the morning he’s in the gym, then at 10 o’clock right after the gym, he’s shooting pucks. That’s the kind of kid Yaks is, the kind of player he is and that’s exactly why he’s wearing an ‘A’ for us.”

Yakimchuk was back the very next game, sporting a full-cage, but didn’t miss a step. He appeared in 60 games for the Dragons last season (2018-19).