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The future of hockey is Cayden, Kaden and Kayden, or Jaden, Jadon and Jayden.

By Dan Gartland
May 03, 2019

This is the future of hockey

The WHL draft is an extremely underrated annual sports event. Yes, it’s only the allocation of a bunch of 15-year-old hockey players to a league of junior teams in western Canada, but where else do you learn so many spellings of “Brayden?”

Each draft provides a revealing look at the naming customs in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia in a given year (with a few Americans sprinkled in). The year’s draft is for players born in 2004, so with any luck by 2025 the NHL will be full of guys named Cayden, Kaden and Kayden, plus Jaden, Jadon and Jayden. 

Here are a few of my favorite names from this year’s edition:

• Ryder Ringor

• Ridge Dawson

• Dallyn Peekeekoot

• Kylynn Olafson

• Jagger Firkus

• Jayden Joly

• Hunter Mayo

• Rylen Roersma

• Flynn Maxcy

• Oasiz Wiesblatt

• Kyren Gronick

Just looking at the list doesn’t do the draft justice, though. There was a spectacularly alliterative sequence of picks in which Kyle Kelsey was picked right after Cyle Clayton. You also had back-to-back Logans (Cunningham and McCutcheon) go in the third round.

Talk about a heads up play

The Blue Jackets lost to the Bruins, 4–1, to even their series at 2–2 but it could have been a shutout for Boston if Columbus’s Artemi Panarin hadn’t made this slick play. 

In the first period, a shot deflected up into the netting behind the goal but the officials missed it and play wasn’t whistled dead. While everyone else stopped playing, Panarin put the puck in the back of the net. 

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