Drayton Thunder Chief. Photo courtesy of La Ronge Ice Wolves.

The La Ronge Ice Wolves say 19-year-old forward Drayton Thunder Chief is the team’s first Indigenous captain in franchise history.

“That means quite a bit for me actually,” said Thunder Chief. “This way, I can be a role model for the younger Indigenous population around here and especially back at home. I’m able to just let them see that you can do anything if you want it.”

Thunder Chief belongs to the Kainai First Nation in southern Alberta. He is a leader not only on the ice, but off the ice in the community too.

“I think he’s just a guy that comes to the rink every day with the right attitude and does what needs to be done,” said Ice Wolves Head Coach and GM Evan Vossen. “Plus, he’s out in the community and doing all sorts of community involvement and that sort of thing. Just a real good role model not only for the community here in La Ronge and area, but also for our guys in the dressing room.”

Thunder Chief was involved in an off-season trade with the Kindersley Klippers that sent forward Curtis Peck to Kindersley. Through 27 games with the Ice Wolves this season, Thunder Chief has recorded eight points and 113 penalty minutes.

“I bring that physicality, so I don’t really have to say as much as a captain. I can just prove it on the ice and do it through my actions,” said Thunder Chief.

Meantime, Thunder Chief is not the only Indigenous captain in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League this season. Chance Longjohn serves as captain of the Notre Dame Hounds. Longjohn is from Maskwacis, Alberta.