The day of the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) bantam draft, Dallon Melin admits he wasn’t paying attention in his language arts class in school.
The 15-year-old Grade 9 student was eagerly watching the draft, which took place in Calgary, Alberta, on his phone on the WHL website when he got the notification he had been waiting for.
Dallon had been drafted 32nd overall by the Victoria Royals during the second round of Thursday’s bantam draft.
“I was just in shock. I went a little bit earlier than I thought I would, so I was surprised to see my name,” Dallon said. “It’s a dream come true.”
Dallon’s passion for hockey started when he first laced up his skates and strapped on his helmet more than a decade ago. His dad had played for several years with the town’s team, the Hughenden in the Battle River Hockey League, and Dallon remembers going to watch his games with his mother and older sister in the roughly 13 years his dad played.
To this day, Dallon hopes be a strong player like his father, and has made a name for himself on the ice with the Camrose Red Wings Bantam AAA of the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League.
The six-foot-two-inch, 177-pound forward netted 23 goals, 39 assists and 52 penalty minutes in 36 games with the Red Wings this season. He also recorded three goals in two playoff games.
“Dallon is a power forward who protects the puck well and possesses a great skill set,” said Royals’ senior Alberta regional scout Ryan Guenter in a release.
Dallon wasn’t the only player to be drafted by the Victoria Royals. Overall, the team selected six forwards and six defencemen, including Kaden Reinders of the Grand Prairie Storm Bantam AAA, Ty Thorpe from Rink Hockey Academy, Alex Bolshakov of the Seattle Sno-King under 14 junior Thunderbirds, and Ty Yoder, also from the Camrose Red Wings.