Thursday was a special day for Moose Jaw Warriors overage forward Jayden Halbgewachs as years of hard work paid off.
Halbgewachs received a late Christmas present as he inked a standard entry-level contract with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks on Thursday.
“It’s obviously a big achievement for myself and without the help of a lot of people, I wouldn’t be here today, so today was pretty special and to come out with two points at the end of the day too was huge,” said Halbgewachs after Thursday’s 8-2 win over Swift Current.
After going undrafted in the past two NHL entry drafts, Halbgewachs continued to prove doubters wrong by posting some huge numbers over the past two seasons.
In his first 133 games in the WHL, Halbgewachs had just 19 goals and 50 points, but he has since posted 87 goals and 165 points over his next 108 games after breaking out with 50 goals and 101 points during the 2016-17 season.
“I couldn’t be happier for the guy,” said Warriors assistant coach Mark O’Leary. “This is all about him, he’s put in the work, we’ve talked many times about the work that Jayden puts in in the summer time and winter time, whether it’s in the gym or on the ice, he’s come along way and turned himself into one of the best players in our league.”
Halbgewachs has previously attended development and training camps with the Vegas Golden Knights.
While his offensive abilities are what standout, it was Halbgewachs’ all around game that attracted the Sharks.
“His combination of elite speed, high-end skill and ability to pressure both ends of the ice make him a dangerous player who makes others around him better. We're excited he is joining our organization,” said Sharks general manager Doug Wilson in a media release.
With a contract in his pocket now, Halbgewachs doesn’t plan on slowing down. He had two goals on Thursday night to push his CHL-leading total to 37 in 37 games this season.
“It’s going to take a lot of hard work to get to the next level, but I’m ready to do that,” said Halbgewachs.