You can’t miss the name on the back of Trygve Many Guns’ jersey as he skates around the ice for the Regina Pats.
Not only does the forward have an eye-catching name, but his play during the team’s rookie showcase last week caught some attention as well.
“I think camp has gone really well so far,” he said.
“I’m liking the area, liking the billets, liking the town. It’s nice.”
Many Guns suited up in all three games for the team at the Co-operators Centre where he picked up four points.
The production is a nice bonus, but the weekend served a greater purpose overall for Many Guns.
“Just to get a feel for how fast it was. How people move the puck and everything so when we get into the pre-season, I know what to expect,” he said.
Those are the kinds of things the 16-year-old is adjusting to when trying to make the jump to the next level in his hockey career. Many Guns spent last season with midget AAA UFA Bisons in Alberta picking up 25 points in 34 games.
Despite the fast start over the weekend, head coach John Paddock feels that Many Guns remains a work in progress.
“He’s done everything that we’ve asked so far. This is a potential long-term project. He’s nowhere near a Western League player, yet,” he said.
“We believe we have a chance, with his co-operation and our work and knowledge and pushing him to be a factor on our hockey team.”
Even at his young age, Many Guns is also thinking big picture.
As someone from the Siksika Nation in Alberta, Many Guns knows that major junior and beyond hasn’t exactly been filled with First Nation’s players over the years. Because of that, he’s been getting a lot of well wishes and support from across the prairies.
“There’s a lot of people out there. They want to come to more games. I’m getting a lot of messages from people all over, not just Alberta where I’m from,” he said.
“It’s really nice to know I have all of that support behind me.”
No matter how this experience turns out for him, Many Guns hopes he can inspire other First Nation’s youth to follow their dreams.
“Just to prove to them that anyone can do it. All the obstacles I’ve overcome and to make it this far is pretty amazing. Just to show them that First Nation’s people can do it as well.”
The Pats pre-season continues Friday night in Brandon. They return home to host the Wheat Kings on Saturday.