Courtesy of Dave Anthony at steinbachonline.com
In the first big move of the summer, the Steinbach Pistons acquired 20 year old forward Drew Worrad from the Oakville Blades of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in exchange for 20 year old forward Mack Graham.
Worrad, who hails from Denfield, Ontario, could hardly contain his excitement coming to play for the Steinbach Pistons. “I’ve only heard great things. I’ve done my research and I looked into , it’s an incredible program with recent success. I’m very excited to get there.”
For Worrad, being wanted by a team led by head coach Paul Dyck, he says it’s pretty easy to want to be at the best possible level you can be. “It’s very humbling. He’s a very respected guy and has a great track record. Having someone like that trade for you and show you they want you on their team, it’s very humbling and it’s very encouraging. I couldn’t be more excited.”
Heading into his final year of junior hockey, having this trade completed early was key for Worrad and his family. “I think it’s great. Being able to get in early and even before camp, meeting the guys and building relationships, its vital. Not just with the guys but with the coaching staff, building that chemestry both on and off the ice, it’s so important.”
One current Pistons player has already reached out to welcome the new addition. “I’ve talked with Bradley Schoonbaert, he reached out after I got the news and we’ve been talking. He’s a guy who seems really excited to have me, so I already feel welcome. He’s been a good friend already.”
Going the other way in the deal is the Pistons leading scorer from last season. Graham spent two seasons in Steinbach and put up 120 points in 111 games including 32 goals in the 2016/17 season.
At 6″1 175lbs, Worrad adds size and a right handed shot to the center ice position, something the Pistons wanted to address in the off-season. Worrard knows the details of the trade and is looking forward to the challenge. “With Mack Graham going, from what I hear and what I’ve seen, I have some pretty big shoes to fill. I think coach Dyck wants me to contribute a lot this year, not just offensively but on both sides of the puck. Personally, I would love to fill those shoes and play a big role for the Pistons this year.”
As a player, Worrad describes what fans will see on the ice and what teammates can expect off the ice. “I pride myself on being a very good two-way centerman. I’ve always from day one loved to take care of my own zone first and work my way out. I like to be able to add a lot on offence as well. I see myself as a two-way, playmaking centerman, who makes the guys better around him. I want to provide leadership in the room as well. The room is a very big part for a hockey team. I would love to add some positivity. I’ve had some experience with leadership roles and want to add to a good room and good chemistry.”
Coming to a new team has stoked the fire within Worrad, who is a fierce competetor and heading into his final year of Junior A hockey, he knows it’s all about one thing. “Winning. I want to win. That’s the number one priority. It’s very exciting going to a progam that wants to win and has had success before.”
One thing may have to change for Worrad on the ice and that’s the number he wears. For the Blades last season, he had 67 on his back but this year may be different. “I don’t know if I wanna be that guy who goes off the rails. I’ll think about what I wanna wear this year and I don’t wanna cause too much of a ruckus.”