Ryan Winterton’s hockey career has had more downs than ups, the last thing he needs is more downtime.
After spending a huge part of the last two years sidelined, Winterton has come back strong and has set the coordinates of the career back on track by leading the Hamilton Bulldogs to the Ontario Hockey championship and a semi final slot to face Shawinigan in the Memorial cup happening currently at Saint John, New Brunswick.
The Kraken Prospect has spent the midweek break in the tournament watching whales and eating crab with his team members. His first trip to Atlantic Canada was quite helpful though short. It was a much needed rest from what has turned out to be a very long comeback season.
Winterton has benefited from the short tournament break
“It’s been cool,” Winterton, who is a native of Whitby, Ontario, said in a short interview last week.
“Where our hotel’s located is kind of out of town, so we went out in town today to the water, and yesterday we went whale watching. It’s cool to get out and experience nature and all that it has to offer.”
The 18-year-old has had very little time to play around and have fun since 2020 as he struggled with the shutdown of the league due to multiple COVID cases plus an annoying shoulder injury he suffered just before he was to attend his team’s training camp last year.
Even with the uncertainty surrounding his future, the young lad went back to the Bulldogs early this year and is now competing for the major junior hockey’s grand trophy.
“I think the two years off from juniors kind of helped me to get my priorities straight,” said Winterton, who tumbled somewhat unexpectedly into the Kraken’s hands last summer as a third-round draft pick (67th overall selection).
“I kind of dialed in real hard through COVID and really just fell in love with the game”, the 18-year-old added.
The events of the past couple of years made the youngster start doubting his hockey ability. However, with his recent rise in game time and training camps, attendance has somewhat brought back his love for the game.
“You realize how much you miss a game when you get taken away from it for two years,” Winterton said. “You kind of appreciate the little things” , concluded the teenager.