Mowachaht/Muchalaht teen joins WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds

Cody Savey announces signing on with the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds on Facebook.

Vancouver — 

Fifteen-year-old Cody Savey has made a huge leap forward in his hockey career with the signing of a Standard Player Agreement with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League. The contract signing took place Saturday and was announced on Sunday, Feb. 13, the same day as his first game in a Seattle Thunderbirds jersey.

“It felt pretty good and the energy of the crowd was amazing,” said Savey of his first game as #15 of the Seattle Thunderbirds. His team lost 6-3 to the Kelowna Rockets when the Rockets scored 4 unanswered goals in the last few minutes of the game, but that didn’t dampen Savey’s thrill of playing for the first time in the WHL.

Savey, who stands 6’1”, weighing in at 210 lbs, is a young Mowachaht/Muchalaht man who grew up in Tsaxana near the tiny community of Gold River, B.C. He is the pride and joy of Gold River and of the Nuu-chah-nulth nations.

He said he first wanted to learn to play hockey when he was five years old and it took some time before his parents realized how serious he was about wanting to play.

He began skating at age seven and, like any new challenge, it took him time to learn how to do things like stopping in skates. But he was determined and worked his way up the ranks from house hockey with the Gold River Hawks, to the Campbell River Tyees then on to Canadian Sport School Hockey League.

And on Feb. 12, he signed on with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, a team that has been keeping a close eye on Savey for the past few months.

According to their website, the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) 22 Member Clubs are located throughout Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S.

Players are eligible to be drafted or placed on the protected list of a WHL Member Club. Top level players develop in the system through the various leagues and in the year of their 16th birthday, become eligible to play in the WHL on a full-time basis. Players can continue to play in the WHL until the year of their 20th birthday.

For Cody and his parents, Wes Savey and Evangeline James, this means that Cody receives a full scholarship to any post-secondary institution he chooses, for at least one year. Cody, still in high school, has set his sights on attending the University of British Columbia after graduation.

He will continue to receive full scholarships as long as he is signed with the WHL.

“We are so proud of Cody,” said his mother. “He has shown Aboriginal youth that it is possible to follow your dreams; he has one year of college tucked away now for playing one game and that is the most important part of this wonderful journey. He will have his education covered,” said Evangeline.

Cody has his sights set on the National Hockey League and he will likely succeed with his steadfast discipline and dedication to the sport.

“Hopefully I will get into the NHL in a few years,” he told Ha-Shilth-Sa before rushing off for practise.

Cody is playing in Seattle on Feb. 14 and his mother is making her way from their home in Tsaxana (Gold River) to watch her son play.

“We will go to as many games as we can when he plays for Seattle Thunderbirds,” she said. James urges parents to support their children’s dreams.

“To every parent, when your child shows an interest in some sport, support them. Keep your kids busy and that keeps them out of trouble,” she advised.

Copyright 2010 Ha-Shilth-Sa. All Rights Reserved.

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