When the Moose Jaw Warriors drafted Daemon Hunt with the 15th pick in the first round of the WHL bantam draft in 2017, they likely hoped for a trajectory much like the one he’s been on.

Hunt was been chosen for the U17 team, was drafted in the third round by the Minnesota Wild in the 2020 NHL draft, and then went to the Team Canada selection camp in Red Deer prior to the World Juniors.

This week, Hunt was named captain of the Warriors, and the 18-year-old was thrilled.

“It’s a huge honour and it’s extremely humbling for me and my family,” Hunt said. “I’m proud of myself and I’ve come a long way, and I’m just excited to get things going here.”

Hunt scores his first goal in the 2017-18 season after getting called up as an affiliate player from his hometown Brandon U18 AAA Wheat Kings. Hunt thought back about how far he’s come since Warriors camp that year.

“Being only 15 years old, guys were giving me the ropes and showing me the way of how to be a Warrior and how to be a professional,” he said. “Of course I have to give lots of credit to my coaches and teammates along the way, and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”

Hunt said there’s a lot of great leaders in the locker room this season, and he said he’s excited to lead both the older and younger players this season.

“I think I tend to lead more on the ice and show more of my skill and my work ethic,” he said. “At the same time I’m going to have to communicate a lot in the dressing room and I’m extremely comfortable with doing that. Honestly, I’m just excited to get things going in Regina here and going into a bubble it’s going to be different, but I’m extremely excited for that.”

The Warriors will be heading into a 24-game 2020-2021 season with Regina as the hub city starting March 12. The five Saskatchewan-based teams join the two Manitoba-based teams for the ‘regular’ season. Players will play in front of no fans and live in dorms in Regina for the duration of the season.

Hunt said he’s learned a lot from the captains the Warriors have had during his tenure with the team: Brett Howden, Josh Brook and Owen Hardy.

“They carry themselves so well and they come to the rink every day with a smile on their faces, but at the same time … they want to win every day and they want to compete as hard as they can every single day and they want to get better,” Hunt said. “That’s what I’m trying to do every day. For me, it’s just being there for the guys and leading by example.”

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