LANIGAN — Days before the Western Hockey League bantam draft, Humboldt Broncos bantam AA captain Kylynn Olafson was nervous and questions filled his head.
On May 2, those questions were answered for the Lanigan product. He was selected in the seventh round, 150th overall, by the major junior Edmonton Oil Kings.
“When I saw my name on my phone, I was extremely excited and honestly didn’t know how to react,” the son of Brent and Valerie Olafson said. “The first thing that I did was stand up and tell my brother Parker. Not only was I extremely excited, he was too. He shook my hand and none of us could find many words.
“Being picked means many things to me and hopefully means a lot to my family as well. I've always had the dream of going somewhere in hockey, just like any other little kid has. With being drafted, it makes me feel like my hard work is being noticed and hopefully it’s just the beginning of what is to come.”
The Oil Kings were pleased to select the 5-foot, 6-and-a-half-inch, 132-pound, 15-year-old forward, who plans to play for the midget AAA Trojans next season.
“Kylynn is a skilled player who skates well and plays with a high pace,” said Edmonton director of scouting Jamie Porter. “His hockey sense and passion for the game stood out to us.”
Olafson had 17 goals and 36 points in 26 regular season games for the bantam AA Broncos this past winter. He also had a goal and an assist in eight games for the midget AA Broncos.
“He’s a hard-working guy,” bantam AA Broncos head coach Eric Sundholm said. “His work ethic is second to none. When he comes to the rink, he comes to play.”
This was Sundholm’s first year coaching Olafson. A Drake resident, Sundholm had coached against him for years.
“I didn’t realize how fast he really is,” the coach said. “I think that is the key to his success – his speed.”
Besides being speedy, Olafson is skilled, gritty and has a good attitude, Sundholm said. As well, he was an important leader for the bantam AA Broncos.
“Never gets too high, never gets too low. Even-keeled,” Sundholm said. “He is a lead-by-example type guy.”
Olafson grew up in Lanigan and developed his game there until his first year of peewee. He played peewee and bantam hockey in Humboldt.
Olafson found out he was drafted on the morning his family returned from New Brunswick, where he was visiting his oldest brother Brayden and Brayden’s wife Natalia. It was only fitting, as Kylynn emphasized that all of his family members have had a huge impact on his hockey career. Olafson said his parents have shown a tremendous amount of support for him and his hockey career.
“Without them I don't believe that I would be where I am,” he said. “My parents do everything for me no matter what it is. My parents have done everything to make me a successful hockey player. They attend, if not all, most of my hockey games. They encourage me to do my best in whatever I am doing, and drive across the province in order to get me to hockey.”
Olafson has three brothers, Brayden, 25, Spencer, 23, and Parker, 21.
“Although my brothers and I are separated by at least six years, I still feel extremely close to them,” he said. “They help me through everything, especially to do with hockey. They point out ways to improve my game no matter if I like it or not. My brothers are a huge part of my hockey career.”
Olafson has a passion for the game of hockey.
“There are so many things to love about hockey – the game itself and the things that come along with it. I have made a ton of friends from playing on several hockey teams. Some of my best friends have come from hockey, and some that I believe could be great friends for the rest of my life. I love the places that hockey takes you and the people that you get to meet. But most of all I just love the game of hockey.”