CHEK Upside: Victoria teen Ty Halaburda reaches major hockey milestone

CHEK Upside: Victoria teen Ty Halaburda reaches major hockey milestone
WatchAfter lacing up his first pair of skates at the young age of two, Ty Halaburda instantly fell in love with the ice and has big dreams for a future in hockey.

A 15-year-old hockey player from Vancouver Island will be heading to Vancouver in time after been drafted into the WHL amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ty Halaburda looks like a natural on the ice, and there’s a good reason.

“We had him skating when he was two years old,” said his father, Todd Halaburda.

The Victoria native had an instant attraction to the ice.

According to his dad, by the time he began organized hockey at 5-years-old, his passion for the game was obvious.

“He loved it . . . I mean, I’m a huge hockey fan and I think they sort of adopt your passion for things,” said Todd.

“I love it a lot,” said Ty. “[My dad] never really had to wake me up for early morning practice or anything like that . . . I sat my own alarm and it was basically me getting him to go out the door.”

Growing up, Halaburda excelled in minor hockey and had big dreams for his future. Throughout the current lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Belmont Secondary student has found ways to train and even get in a few ice sessions.

He has stayed fit and ready because on his 15th birthday on April 22, teams from the Western Hockey League were selecting their future talent in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft. Ty didn’t have to wait long to see his name pop up on the online board.

“I kind of like jumped up and smiled and just like refreshed the page,” said Ty.

His dad Todd called it an emotional roller coaster of a day.

“You have no idea. It’s amazing when it’s all over, [it] just takes everything out of you,” said Todd, as his son’s hockey future was in the hands of 22 WHL general managers for a brief moment.

Ty was selected 32nd overall by the Vancouver Giants.

It’s a convenient and short ferry ride away for the Halaburda family.

“We’re just super happy that we’re close to him and we’ll be able to watch him play for the next five or six years,” said Todd.

“I’m excited to start billeting and move in on my own,” said Ty.

The self-described two-way forward plans to play next season in Delta but hopes he is not too far away from cracking the WHL roster.

In these uncertain times, however, Ty just wants to get back to playing the game he loves as soon as possible.

Regardless of what the future holds, the Halaburda family has definitely found the highlight of their quarantine era.

“It was definitely the highlight,” said Todd.

“Probably one of the best moments of my life,” added Ty.

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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