Derynck lands in Swan Valley 

Defenceman started season in Saskatchewan, was traded back to Manitoba

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SWAN VALLEY STAMPEDERS - STAMPEDING Taylor Derynck has helped the Swan Valley Stampeders climb back into the MJHL playoff race since joining the team in November.
  • Photo courtesy of the Swan Valley Stampeders
  • STAMPEDING Taylor Derynck has helped the Swan Valley Stampeders climb back into the MJHL playoff race since joining the team in November.

Taylor Derynck asked for one trade this season, but ended up with two.

Citing a desire to play a bit closer to Whistler in his final season of junior eligibility, the 20-year-old defenceman requested a trade away from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League's OCN Blizzard.

Over the summer, Derynck was dealt to the Saskatchewan league's Kindersley Klippers, but after just 15 games, was returned to the Keystone Province, where he's suited up for the Swan Valley Stampeders since mid-November, contributing six assists in 17 games.

Swan Valley is in the postseason hunt, sitting just one point out of the eighth and final playoff spot at press time.

"We have a lot of skill and we've been doing pretty well lately," he said. "We're hoping we're going to get in for it."

The Stampeders climbed closer with a 7-6 overtime win over Derynck's previous mates in OCN on Jan. 7. He chipped in an assist to help Swan Valley overcome a 5-2 third-period deficit.

"Beating my former team was a good feeling and we're just trying to ride this thing," he said. "It was pretty sweet. I knew a lot of the guys, so playing them and seeing their faces, I know how they all play. It was a nice feeling to win that."

Admittedly, Derynck had expected to finish his junior hockey career in Saskatchewan, but when Kindersley started to sink in the standings, the front office looked toward the future and shipped out players who wouldn't be part of their long-term plans.

"It was a huge surprise," he said. "(The Klippers) were doing decent at the start, but I guess (the coach) wanted a younger team, so he traded away a couple other 20-year-olds and everything.

"It's not a surprise anymore. You know what to expect. The systems are pretty simple — a lot of teams do the same thing, or something similar. There's not much to learn, you just need to know the mentality and know what the coach is expecting," he said.

Though Derynck's time in Saskatchewan was shorter than anticipated, it helped him further his hockey career. While playing at the SJHL Showcase, scouts from Wisconsin's Marian University spotted him and later approached him to start with their program next season.

"They've been seeing me ever since I played in Alberni. Since then, they've kept an eye on me," he said.

Derynck recently visited the Fond du Lac campus to get a sense of the school while seeing the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association's Sabres in action. He committed to the program in December and plans to study business.

"I felt like it would be a good fit because the school isn't as big. I'm used to a smaller school, and knowing the teachers at the university will be a huge part of my success and doing well in school," he said. "It would be beneficial for me."

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