Gavin McKenna was granted exceptional player status earlier last year which put him at the top of the radar for the WHL draft. There was no doubt in the minds of Medicine Hat Tigers brass that he was worth it as they snatched him with the first overall pick in 2022.
So far this hockey season, he has split his time between the Medicine Hat Tigers and the South Alberta Hockey Academy. He has 73 points with SAHA and eight assists in 11 games with the Tigers.
The hype behind the name doesn’t stop yet either. In just six contests this Winter Games, McKenna recorded 29 points including 14 goals, smashing a Canada Games record that stood for 28 years. The previous record for points in a tournament was 27, set by Francois Methot of Quebec in 1995 and tied by Kelsey Tessier of New Brunswick in 2007.
“It’s unbelievable. Obviously, so many great players come through here. Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon, hopefully, my career keeps going. It’s a cool thing for sure and obviously couldn’t have done it without my teammates, they were unbelievable, coaches and trainers as well,” said McKenna.
It’s safe to say I don’t think anyone has doubts about McKenna’s career continuing in a positive direction. As a 15-year-old, McKenna is already being viewed by scouts as a top prospect for the 2026 NHL draft, that’s right, 2026. For now, though, it’s back to the WHL and possibly SAHA for McKenna.
“I’m going to take some leadership skills back with me. Obviously, with representing Yukon and wearing the ‘C’ I tried to lead as much as I could. I'm going to try and bring back some good habits, use my speed as much as I can and work on my shot,” McKenna said.
As all good teammates do, McKenna gave credit to his fellow Yukoners for getting him to the record and he couldn’t be more proud of his territory.
“It was unbelievable. Just all the support from all the fans and the guys in the room. This is an experience of a lifetime for all of us and we’ve made so many memories. It’ll be one of the tournaments I never forget,” said McKenna. “It was an honour wearing the Yukon jersey and obviously to wear the ‘C’. It was so amazing to represent the Yukon and I’m so proud.”
Even earlier on in the tournament, McKenna wasn’t focused on any records, his only concern was talking about Yukon and how proud he was of his territory.
“It’d definitely be awesome but what our team is doing right now is unbelievable. Yukon has never won two games let alone three so to make it through is unbelievable. It’d be cool for sure to have that title but right now just focus on Yukon, it's been amazing so far,” said McKenna.
McKenna, as all great leaders do, acknowledges all the people and figures who have been a part of getting him to where he is today.
“Obviously watch NHLers every day and try to replicate their game. I used to watch Nathan MacKinnon quite a bit. For me though, it’s obviously my parents. They’ve done so much for me. I had a backyard rink growing up every year and I think that’s huge. They do everything for me so they’re definitely my role models for sure,” said McKenna.
After 16 incredible days, the 29th edition of the Canada Games will officially conclude tonight with the Closing Ceremony from Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown at 7:30 PM AST.
There have been records smashed and countless debuts made by athletes here at the 2023 Canada Games, but yesterday, history was made when female boxing got underway on P.E.I.
Curling in Canada is rich in history, with the first curling club established in Montreal in 1807. This morning, 216 years later, another first in Canadian curling history took place as Mixed Doubles Curling made its Canada Games debut at the Montague Curling Club.
Women’s hockey at the Canada Games returns to P.E.I. where it made its original debut in 1991. In the tournaments since then, numerous Canadian hockey idols have laced up and begun their glorious careers at the Canada Games.
With the PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games officially underway, the Canada Games Council (CGC) and the 2023 Host Society are thrilled to celebrate the nation’s top young athletes and their families and friends with the launch of Canada Games House, presented by Canadian Tire.
Let the Games begin! Reminiscent of an Island kitchen party, the athletes were all smiles and a capacity crowd was brought to its feet during the Opening Ceremony of the PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games.
After many years of planning, the town of North Rustico reached a historic milestone today with the opening of Eliyahu Wellness Centre at Canada Games Place.
The PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games Host Society is ready to give a warm Maritime welcome to over 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches as they descend on PEI’s friendly shores for the 29th edition of the Canada Games.
The PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games Host Society and Canada Games Council are proud to unveil the new cauldron that will house the flame to ignite the spirit of Canadian sport throughout the 2023 Canada Games, February 18 - March 5, 2023.
It’s only fitting that boxing occurred during Week Two of this year’s Canada Winter Games, coinciding with Women’s History Month, which runs the month of March.
Team Alberta’s figure skater, Lia Cho, is this year’s youngest athlete at Canada Winter Games. She is only 10 years old and stands just over four rulers high.
For the first time in Canada Games history, medals will be awarded in mixed doubles curling. The event made its historic debut this week at the Montague Curling Club.
On day 13 of the 2023 Canada Winter Games, the host province, Prince Edward Island, landed on the podium for the first time. Lucas Macdonald of Stratford, claimed the silver medal in the Men’s +81 kg Judo division Thursday afternoon.
Chants of “Novaaa Scotiaaa” echoed throughout Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre in Charlottetown as proud fans watched Ritu Shah and Thomas Ashton add two silver medals to Team Nova Scotia’s growing medal count.
When people speak of the legacy of the 2023 Canada Winter Games the conversation usually focuses on two things, the lifelong memories people take away from the Games and the new sports facilities the Games leave behind.
At the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta’s Evelyn Beaton took home a gold medal for the individual female - 44 kg Judo division.
Sport and competition often draw metaphoric comparisons to life. For PEI’s Crawford family, it’s remarkable how a sport with a tiny target has brought life’s bigger picture into clear view.Sport and competition often draw metaphoric comparisons to life. For PEI’s Crawford family, it’s remarkable how a sport with a tiny target has brought life’s bigger picture into clear view.
Sporting bright green and blue uniforms, the PEI 2023 volunteers are a dedicated and committed group, intent on making sure the Games provide the best possible experience for the young athletes representing their respective provinces and territories.