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Rising Quesnel goalie eyes BC Junior Canucks and Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament

Preston Wawryk is going to Montreal next month
Preston Wawryk is heading to Montreal next month for a second and final tryout camp with the BC Junior Canucks. (Rebecca Dyok photo — Quesnel Observer)

Preston Wawryk, 9, of Quesnel is garnering attention as one of the province’s best young hockey goaltenders.

The goalie will be heading to Montreal next month for his second tryout camp for the Team BC Junior Canucks and a chance to play in next year’s prestigious Brick Invitational Super Novice Hockey Tournament, a world-class tournament for players nine and ten years of age.

“It’s fun, and you get to see all your friends playing,” Preston said of his love for hockey. “My favourite goalie is Carey Price.”

Preston was one of more than 60 kids across B.C. invited for the first tryout camp last month in Coquitlam at Planet Ice. It was just a few days ago when Preston’s family received word he was successful in advancing to the second and final tryout camp.

“By Christmas we’ll know if he’s made the team,” Preston’s dad, Kory, excitedly said.

Preston has emerged as one of the province’s best goalies within a short period of time.

This is his second year playing hockey, where he is trying out for the Quesnel Thunder U11.

Preston got to practice and play with the team in a successful championship tournament last season due to their other goalie being injured. Following that match, he was invited to play hockey in Prince George for the Winterhawks, where at a game in Vancouver, he was asked to join up with an AAA team in Kelowna.

It was just this past spring at a tournament with the Kelowna Heat in Coquitlam, Preston’s great saves were further noticed, and he was invited to a tryout camp in August for the Team BC Junior Canucks.

This past summer, he was also invited to participate in a goaltending camp in Vernon by Vernon Vipers Hockey Club coach Travis Hoy.

“A lot of exposure has happened, and a lot of people have noticed him, and this has gotten to where he is,” Kory said. “He puts in work that most kids won’t, and he knows that’s what it takes.”

Preston will be traveling to Montreal on Oct. 20 for the five-game series with Kory, his mother and brother, and his grandparents.

He has a custom-painted helmet by his uncle, who is an airbrush artist, and his nickname ‘Bones’, in reference to his thin body type, written across the back of his jerseys.

“Preston is very shy and very humble, and I think that’s got him a long way too,” Kory said. “He doesn’t believe he’s the best, but a lot of people think he’s a shining star.”

Read More: Quesnel Thunder minor hockey team wins regional tournament on home ice

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