Noah Boyko was selected in the first round (16th overall) by the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the 2017 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft. The fifteen-year-old from St. Albert, Alberta spent the 2016-2017 season with the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers of the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League where he finished second on his team with 52 points (25g-27a). He scored the game-winning goal to help the Rangers win the Provincial Championship over the Lethbridge Golden Hawks. He signed his WHL Standard Player Agreement on June 1st.
Get to know Noah a little bit better:
Q: Go back to draft day, what went through your mind when you heard your name go 16th overall to the Lethbridge Hurricanes?
NB: First off I was really excited. I was just hoping to get drafted that morning. I was pretty nervous the night before, I didn’t sleep too well. I was hoping to stay in Alberta, so I’m pretty happy, especially going to Lethbridge.
Q: Where were you and who were you with on draft day when you heard you had been drafted?
NB: I was at school actually, in class. I didn’t even end up watching the video, I actually had to watch the tracker.
Q: When you heard it was Lethbridge, what went through your mind?
NB: I was super excited. First off, it’s not too far from my hometown [St. Albert, AB], only five hours. And then it’s a great organization and I’m super happy to be a part of it.
Q: You recently signed, what was that experience like and was it an easy decision?
NB: Yeah, I didn’t even think about it. We just read over the rules and just signed. It was nice meeting Peter [Anholt] and Rob [MacLachlan], I really enjoyed it. They are really nice guys, really down to earth, it was nice meeting them. I’m just excited to be a part of the Hurricanes.
Q: Jacob Boucher, a teammate of yours with the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers, was also drafted by the Hurricanes, how cool was it to learn he’d been taken by the same team as you?
NB: It’s pretty exciting. I will have someone I already know going into camp, so hopefully I’ll be a little more comfortable. It’s just exciting to be with a guy that we worked hard with all season with.
Q: Describe your game, what type of player would you consider yourself?
NB: I’m hard-working and a bigger guy. I try to be a good teammate and get the odd goal.
Q: Talk about your season, 52 points and second on your team in scoring, what did you think was a key to your success?
NB: We had a great start. Before the year we knew we’d have a good team, we just obviously wanted to see if we could put it together. We had a great start and then a bit of downhill which gave us a little bit of a learning curve. We came together right before playoffs, right at the right time, and we finished it off with a championship.
Q: You did win the Provincial Championship, what that like?
NB: It was awesome. Our coaches supported us the whole way, especially the whole season. We all believed in the group, so it wasn’t too surprising when it finally happened. We had a good group and our coaches really helped us finish it off.
Q: You scored the Championship winning goal, what was that moment like on a personal level?
NB: I had a tough series, it was low scoring with that Lethbridge [Golden Hawk] series, so just to pot one in there, I was pretty happy and then obviously the game winner, it made it even better.
Q: What are your summer plans? What do you want to work on before your first WHL camp in August?
NB: I’ve already started training, I’ve been training for a while. I’ve been doing on-ice right now. I’m trying to gain a little bit of weight and a little bit of muscle mass to compete with the bigger guys at camp. I obviously just want to work on my skills every day to get better every day.
Q: What’s your favourite NHL team?
NB: Pittsburgh Penguins
Q: Favourite player that you like to model your game after?
NB: A little bit Sidney Crosby and then a little bit Auston Matthews. They’re both really good skaters and unreal with the puck. I try to work as hard as them to be as good a skater as them and have good puck skills.
Q: If you have a cheat day, what’s the go-to?
NB: Oh, I’m not even sure. Maybe McDonalds with my brother. Get a little burger there and a pop or something.
Q: How big is your family?
NB: I have an older brother and a younger sister, and then mom and dad, so five of us.
Q: If I was to give you $150 and we were outside West Edmonton Mall, where are you going to go to spend that $150 and what are you going to buy?
NB: Uhhh… I don’t know. I like Urban Outfitters in there, they’ve got some pretty cool clothes. Or I’d go to Sport Chek and buy some hockey sticks.