Some history was made by a Swift Current-born hockey player this morning during the WHL Prospects Draft.
Defenceman Griffin Darby became the first Swift Current product since 2003 (Craig Cuthbert) to be selected in the first round in the WHL.
The 14-year-old had said he had no idea the Portland Winterhawks were going to draft him with the 17th overall selection.
"It's an honour," he said Thursday afternoon. "I think it's good to be representing Swift Current just proving that you don't have to go to a big academy to play good or play good hockey. It's how much work you put in and your team that you're playing on. I think it's awesome to be going in the first round."
Griffin was the second from his family to be drafted by the Winterhawks, following his brother Hudson who was selected in the fifth round of the 2021 draft.
"Portland is such a good organization and I always wanted to follow in my brother's footsteps and I kind of have been my whole life," he said. "It's really cool to be with him and going to the same camp, it's going to be really fun."
The left-shot defenceman finished his U15 AA career this past season with the Pure Chem Broncos recording six goals and 29 assists for 35 points in 28 regular season games. Griffin also suited up for six games with the Swift Current U18 AAA Legionnaires, a club he will spend the upcoming season with.
He's hopeful that a jump in the competition will prepare him for the leap to the WHL level in the future.
"I have to work hard and give it 110 per cent every time I step on the ice," he said. "Get bigger, stronger, and faster in every aspect because the WHL is such a good league. Not many guys get prepared right for it so I want to."
Griffin is aware of the benchmark his father, Regan, set by reaching the AHL in the early 2000s.
"We just have to chase him down now," he said with a laugh. "Me and Hudson are working on that now."