On behalf of the Drayton Valley Thunder we would like to thank our Fans and Sponsors for all their support during the 2020-2021 season. Drayton Valley is a huge Hockey Community and we are so proud to be a part of it. Each season our team gets bigger and better, and it is all thanks to our Sponsors, our Fans, our amazing Billet families, and our Volunteers.
We were one of only two leagues across Canada that were able to have somewhat of a season this year due to the pandemic. The shortened season wasn’t ideal, but the players made the most of it. They practiced every day, sometimes twice, to improve their skills. They played some hard-fought games against North Division teams like Whitecourt Wolverines, Grande Prairie Storm and the Spruce Grove Saints. The players came to practice to work hard. During games they played hard and left it all on the ice. The one thing that stood out most to Coach Eric Thurston was the teams comradery. Through thick or thin they were there for each other and had each other’s backs. The players’ success was the goal of the coaching staff. They worked tirelessly to keep the players improving. They also took every opportunity to showcase players for opportunities at the next level. Their work paid off resulting in a Division 1 commitment, two Division 3 commitments, and a Usport commitment.
We are really looking forward to the 2021-2022 season! We know that our staff is top notch. We are excited to have Head Coach and General Manager Eric Thurston along with Associate Coach and Assistant GM Matt Keillor and Assistant Coach Eric Schneider to work with our players. They are currently recruiting some new talent to complement the roster and are very optimistic about the season. A high bar has been set!
Our Marketing Manager, Leah Emmett, is the best there is. She is gearing up for sponsorship renewals, season ticket sales, and season opening. She does an amazing job and we are so thankful to have her on our team.
This season, thanks to the Town of Drayton Valley, we have added the concession and the Pro Shop to our operations. We look forward to serving up some awesome food at the concession as well as merchandise, skate sharpening and equipment out of the Pro Shop.
A review of our organization indicates that everything is falling into place. We have fantastic coaching and marketing staff. Our player roster is strong. Our billets, volunteers, fans and sponsors are all top of the line. What could we improve on?
After lots of deliberation we decided that the Board of Directors needed to add some depth! After a careful selection and recruitment process, Monte & Cindy Waronek are excited to announce that we have added two members to the Board of Directors. We are so excited to announce that Leighton Grey and Grant Fuhr have joined the Drayton Valley Thunder Board of Directors.
Leighton Grey is a senior partner with Grey Wowk Spencer LLP based in Calgary and Cold Lake. His area of expertise is criminal law, civil litigation, and personal injury. Leighton graduated with his law degree (distinction) from the University of Alberta. He is passionate about hockey. He is a skills coach and mentor and the founder and president of the Lakeland Sports and Learning Academy, a non-profit organization that creates and delivers athletic programs to youth in Cold Lake and surrounding area.
Grant Fuhr is one of the National Hockey Leagues greatest goaltenders of all time, playing on five Stanley Cup champion teams over twenty seasons (1981-2000) and earning induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003. Following his retirement, Grant Fuhr remains involved in hockey coaching and mentoring players. We are honored to have Grant join the Drayton Valley Thunder organization. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise second to none.
We are optimistic about the 2021-2022 season. We have great staff, outstanding players, and the best fans in the league! Our billets and volunteers are second to none. Even our board is looking good! Our top priority is to get everyone back in the stands to enjoy the fast paced DV Thunder hockey you’ve come to know.
The season is set to open August 21 when the players return for fall camp. Exhibition games will follow against our rivals in the north division. Regular season opens September 17.
Season tickets are on sale and sponsorship opportunities are available. Please visit our website www.draytonvalleythunder.ca or contact Leah at 780.542.7845 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are truly thankful for our community, sponsors and fans who support the Drayton Valley Thunder. We look forward to seeing you seeing you in the stands!
Monte and Cindy Waronek