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Although he had impressed the Chicago Blackhawks scouts who came to watch him play throughout his season – seeing him rack up an impressive 64 points in 41 games – the Aurora teen knew they only had eight picks and there was some stiff competition.
Sikura said that he didn’t even expect to be picked, but he had a good feeling that Chicago would be a great fit. Before the draft, he and 30 other young prospects went down to the windy city to showcase themselves.
Electing to avoid watching, he and his family decided not to spend the day waiting anxiously for the news. Then, as Sikura was refreshing his browser to see who the latest pick was, the phone rang.
It was a scout from the Chicago, which was his father’s favourite team growing up asking him, “Did you see who we just drafted?”
Picked in the sixth round, 178th overall at the NHL draft, Dylan Sikura, a 19-year-old Japanese Canadian from Aurora, Ont. was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks.
— Dylan Sikura (@Dsikky11) June 28, 2014
Sikura, who is half Japanese and half Slovakian played hockey for his hometown Aurora Tigers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League since 2011.
“It’s an original six team, everyone knows Chicago, they won the cup in 2013, so being part of an organization that’s so well known is really special,” Sikura said.
“It was still a shock even though we knew they were interested,” Lorie Edamura-Sikura, his mother, said.
Sikura, who stands 5’11” tall tips the scales at 149 pounds, making him the lightest player drafted in the 2014 NHL Draft, but as he said, “as long as the skill is there.”
“I may not have been on many draft lists and what not, but I got drafted and Chicago liked me enough to draft me, so that’s all good,” he said. “It only takes one team to like you.”
— Tyler Sikura (@Sikkypedia) April 19, 2014
Sikura said his summer will include a whole lot of the weight room (everyday) and a whole lot of ice time (at least four times a week).
“I’m a smaller guy, always been a smaller guy. I think I’m just starting to fit into my own body here.”
“I might not be ready right now, I think I’ll need at least a few years to develop, get bigger and stronger,” Sikura said.
The speedy centre will be sharpening his skills and game at North Eastern University in Boston next year, where he earned a scholarship to play on the hockey team. While there, Sikura will be dipping his toe into different potential academic fields as an undeclared major.
Dylan will be joining his older brother Tyler in playing division one hockey south of the border, where he plays at Dartmouth College.
His mother Lorie said she’d never forget the signs that Dylan was going to be a hockey player like his brother.
When Tyler was seven years old, Dylan, at age four would come to the arena and watch his older brother play.
Lorie said that she’d never forget that while most kids were running around the arena doing their own things, “Dylan would just sit on my lap and watch the game.”
One time, Tyler’s team scored a goal and as all the parents were cheering, the goal was waived off. No one could quite figure out why the goal was disallowed, “But then, there was Dylan’s little voice going, ‘he was in the crease,’” she said.
“He’s always loved hockey since the day before he could first walk and held a little plastic hockey stick,” Lorie said.
His mother said she’s happy to see her son chasing his dream while getting an education in the process and hopes that he stays playing the game “as long as he still loves it.”
Photo: Brian Watts / OJHL Images