'It's Meant Everything': Hunt Reflects on His Career with the Warriors
Daemon Hunt believes being a Moose Jaw Warrior helped prepare him to make the jump to the next level.
"Coming to the rink every single day and approaching it like it's your last, working as hard as you can every single time you touch the ice," Hunt said.
The Warriors' captain played his final game with the team earlier this month when Moose Jaw fell in Game 5 of the second round to the Winnipeg ICE.
For Hunt, it's been a long journey with the organization after being drafted in the first round of the 2017 WHL Draft and growing into a leader for the team.
"It's meant everything," Hunt said. "I was drafted when I was 15 and [I just turned] 20, so it's pretty incredible how far I've com in and how they develop players here, they've turned me from a boy into a young man."
Hunt put up 33 goals and 94 points in 163 regular season games with the Warriors. He set career-highs in goals with 17 and points with 39 this season.
He was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the third round of the 2020 NHL Draft.
Warriors head coach Mark O'Leary said throughout his career in Moose Jaw, Hunt has been a great example of bringing that pro mentality to the rink.
"Daemon practiced every day like a pro and wanting to get better," he said. "How he prepared himself, how he practiced everything, it was certainly appreciated."
Hunt battled injuries throughout his WHL career, but he said he enjoyed every moment.
"I kind of had a tough go in the Western Hockey League with injuries, but looking back, junior hockey is the best time of your life and today's my last day as a junior hockey player, so it's full of emotions," Hunt said.
Hunt wore the 'C' for his final two seasons with the Warriors, leading the team through the Subway WHL Hub season and then into the second round this year.
He said it's been an extremely humbling experience.
"I'm so proud to wear that 'C' for the Moose Jaw Warriors," Hunt said. "For me, it's just wearing it for the whole city, every single person that comes into this building to watch, I'm the captain, this is my team, I lead this team and it's been amazing being that guy."
While Hunt is moving on to professional hockey next season, he said he will still be watching how this group continue to grow heading into the 2022-23 season.
"For the guys that come back next year, it's just about getting better throughout the summer, getting bigger, stronger and every year your role gets that much more important and everybody has to step up and be a leader," Hunt said.
After missing out on back-to-back chances to represent Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship due to injury, Hunt said his focus heading into the summer will be to play at the tournament in August.
"Hopefully I can stay healthy and crack that squad," he said.
The next step after that will be making the jump to pro hockey and attempting to make the Wild this fall.
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