Chatham-Kent’s Next One: Declan Waddick
This year, Brady Stonehouse went in round 2, and Zander Veccia in round 3 of the OHL Draft.
On the near horizon for the 2021 OHL Draft is another sparkling Chatham-Kent prospect – Declan Waddick.
Waddick has been the top goal scorer in the Alliance Hockey for two straight seasons, this year leading the Major Bantam loop with 32 goals. He was also third in league scoring with 56 points in only 30 games while playing for the Sun County Panthers.
“My coaches put me in situations so I can succeed and play my best game,” Waddick explained of his success this season. “I worked really hard this year and played with some strong players and focused on improving my game, and my skill.”
Waddick also showed he has the ability to play at a higher level. He had 3 points in 6 regular season games with Sun County’s Minor Midget ‘AAA’ team, followed by 3 goals and 5 points in 4 playoff games for the 2004 Panthers.
“Playing up helped to elevate my game, challenging me to play against bigger opponents, at a faster pace,” Waddick said about playing up a year.
With all of his success, Waddick still knows there’s space to improve his game, and continue to grow.
“My focus is to elevate my 200 foot game and I’d like to capitalize more on my chances. I will be committed to being a strong leader on and off the ice. During my offseason, I plan on getting stronger and better conditioned, and look to work on getting even more explosive.”
With a strong offseason, and a repeat of his past two seasons, Waddick will be a highly sought after prospect for the 2021 OHL Draft.
“Being selected by an OHL team has always been a goal of mine,” he said. “I’ve been dreaming of this day since I was a little kid. It’s hard to believe that the draft is already next year. I have friends on many teams all over North America and I am excited to see where everybody ends up in the draft and in the future.”
Some of those friends and past teammates on his former Chatham-Kent Cyclones team will also be considered prospects next year, including Brayden Degelas, who finished just behind Waddick in points this season with 53 in 32 games, and fellow Cyclones David Brown and Brenden McKay, to name a few.
Next season, Waddick hopes to help his team qualify for the OHL Cup, and ultimately get drafted. Someday, like any other young hockey prospect, he hopes to play in the NHL, but for now, he’s taking things one day at a time.
“If I keep working hard, good things will happen.”