The newest members of the Saskatoon Blades enjoyed one of the highlights of their young careers this week as they received their official welcome to the organization. The Blades locker room was decorated with throwback jerseys in a nod to the past while the team’s future was on full display.
“We’re putting together a team that we’re really excited about and our fans should be excited about because these are some really exciting players to watch,” general manager Colin Priestner said.
Aidan De La Gorgendiere, whom the Blades drafted fifth overall in this year’s Western Hockey League bantam draft, and Kyle Crnkovic, taken 10th overall, headline the team’s latest crop of prospects. It’s the fourth time since 1990 that Saskatoon has had two first round picks but the first time both players have elected to sign with the club.
“I had a good idea about the draft before and it was awesome. I’m very excited here and I’m happy to play here in the future,” said De La Gorgendiere, a defenceman from Langley, BC.
“I wasn’t too sure where I was gonna go but when Saskatoon picked me it was a huge honour and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the organization,” added Crnkovic, a forward who calls Chestermere, AB home.
Though they still can’t play in the WHL on a full-time basis for another year, the pair will eventually join the likes of Kirby Dach, Chase Wouters and Michael Farren to form a dynamic core of young Blades talent.
“It’s a really elite group that we’re building around but we have business to take care of before these guys get here. We’re not gonna be waiting around for these guys. We plan on being a lot better next year,” Priestner said.