BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s Friday afternoon at the Holiday Twin Rinks in Cheektowaga. 15-year-old Trevor Ward is grinding through a training session with his former youth coach and former Sabres scout Jon Christiano.
For the past three years, the Western New York native’s passion for hockey led him North of the border, recurited to play in the Greater Toronto Hockey League with the Markham Majors.
“The G is one of the top leagues in the world for my age group and I wanted better competition to make me better on the ice,” Trevor said. “I wanted to have great coaches, and there’s a lot of great coaches in the GTHL and it’s a great opportunity to play there.”
“When you surround yourself with players that are at that level it can only make you better if you buy into it,” Christiano said. “It makes your job easier as a player and as a coach, but that’s why some kids feel like they have to leave to play. Patrick Kane left when he was 14-year-old.”
But, as Trevor explained, leaving home at such a young age to continue his career, wasn’t an easy one.
“I’ve grown a lot,” he said. “having to be to place on time, to having my own food, do my own clothes. I had to grow up fast which I like actually.”
His game has grown, too. At 6-feet tall, the left shot defenseman has already caught the eyes of scouts in the USHL and the OHL. Trevor has a chance to increase his junior draft stock this weekend at the “Beast Border Showcase” in Rochester, which features some of the top teams from the United States and Canada, with coaches from the college ranks and junior hockey leagues continuing their evaluations.
“Obviously, it’s a learning opportunity for me to see where our team ranks among great American teams and will be cool to see how we do,” he said. “The next step is hopefully getting drafted in the top three rounds of the OHL or USHL. I’m just trying to go the farthest I can.”