It was on May 2nd, 2019 that the Moose Jaw Warriors picked Denton Mateychuk 11th overall in the 2019 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.

“It’s an honour,” said the then grade nine student at Roseau Valley School. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about that place and I want to thank all my family, friends and coaches who’ve got me to this point.”

Five years later the Dominion City native and his Moose Jaw teammates celebrated a four-game sweep of the Portland Winterhawks as the Eastern Conference champions captured the first ever WHL title in the franchise’s 40-year history.

It’s been quite the hockey journey for the Warriors captain since that memorable day Moose Jaw made him their number one draft selection in 2019.

During his only season with the Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League’s Eastman Selects, Mateychuk was called up by the Warriors and played seven games for the Western Hockey League team in 2019-2020.

He then played all 16 games of the COVID shortened 2021 season with the Warriors in the bubble in Regina.

Mateychuk played for Team Canada at the 2021 World U18 Hockey Championship in Frisco, Texas and the 2024 World Junior Hockey Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden.

He was selected 12th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

Mateychuk, who recorded 38 goals and 166 assists in 180 regular season games and 15 goals and 33 assists in 40 playoffs games the last three years, was named the WHL’s top defenseman this season and the playoff MVP.

It was an historic playoff run for the Warriors who were eliminated by the Winnipeg Ice in the second round of the WHL playoffs in each of the two previous seasons.

Moose Jaw will join the Ontario Hockey League champion London Knights, the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League champion Drummondville Voltigeurs and the host Saginaw Spirit at the 2024 Memorial Cup which begins May 24th in Saginaw, Michigan.

Clayton Dreger asked Moose Jaw Warriors captain Denton Mateychuk how cool it is to hear the phrase Western Hockey League champions