Listen Live
Listen Live
HomeNewsPG's Nico Myatovic gearing up for star-studded Memorial Cup with Seattle Thunderbirds

PG’s Nico Myatovic gearing up for star-studded Memorial Cup with Seattle Thunderbirds

PG’s Nico Myatovic and the Seattle Thunderbirds are looking to add another championship to the trophy case.

The WHL Champion Thunderbirds arrived in Kamloops ahead of the 2023 Memorial Cup, which kicks off tomorrow (Friday) with the host Blazers taking on the Quebec Remparts.

Seattle sees its first action the next night (Saturday) against the Peterborough Petes.

Last week, Seattle took care of business at home dispatching the Winnipeg ICE in five games and capping off a 19-game journey through the 2023 WHL Playoffs, which saw them compile an astounding 16-3 record.

- Advertisement -

Myatovic scored the championship-clinching goal on a penalty shot against Winnipeg netminder Daniel Hauser, sending the accesso ShoWare Center into absolute bedlam.

During an interview with, Myatovic described the sequence leading up to the goal during.

“It was a really good play by Dacher (Colten Dach) to spring me on the breakaway and then I got hauled down. Leading up to the penalty shot, I just took a couple of deep breaths and was able to execute a move and once I saw that puck cross that line it was pure euphoria. I was pretty happy and the place kind of erupted, so it was pretty special.”

“At the moment I kind of blacked out just in all of the excitement but looking back at the videos it got pretty loud in there.”

Once the final buzzer sounded and the clock struck zero, the Thunderbirds poured out onto the ice, claiming their second WHL championship in the last six years.

“Obviously the gloves go flying and everyone is just screaming and every guy said I love, which is pretty special, so it was awesome (the celebration). It was a special night there to win it on home ice and achieve that goal we set out ever since we lost out last year.”

Seattle avenged its previous heartbreak from the 2022 WHL Final, dropping a six-game decision to the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Since training camp, the Thunderbirds loaded for bear. To give you an idea on how stacked the Thunderbirds are, their embarrassment of riches includes ten drafted NHL players including Dylan Guenther (Arizona), Brad Lambert (Winnipeg), Reid Schaefer (Edmonton), Kevin Korchinski (Chicago), Jordan Gustafson (Vegas), Colton Dach (Chicago), Jared Davison (Montreal), Nolan Allen (Chicago), Luke Prokop (Nashville) and Lucas Ciona (Calgary).

- Advertisement -

Prokop and Guenther were both members of last year’s Oil Kings roster that headed to the Memorial Cup in St. John, New Brunswick, and were brought on by the Thunderbirds at various points in the season.

Even with the plethora of talent on the T-Birds roster, Myatovic more than held his own notching a career-high 30 goals and 30 assists. In addition, the 18-year-old is also the 26th-rated North American skater according to the final rankings by NHL Central Scouting for this summer’s draft in Nashville, Tennessee.

Myatovic is heavily relied upon when the Thunderbirds are protecting a one-goal led, giving you a pretty good idea about what head coach Matt O’Dette thinks of his defensive prowess.

“It helps my confidence knowing they have that type of trust in me and there are so many elite players that could do that role too. So, to know, I am out there in those situations is pretty good and I am accepting the role I have been given just like every other player has accepted their role.”

Myatovic was also quick to point out that neither he nor the rest of the team reach the Memorial Cup without the stellar play of goaltender Thomas Milic.

“I mean his entire junior career he has proven himself but especially this year winning a World Junior Gold and coming back is as steady as he has been. Every night when we know he is behind us it gives us so much confidence to play the way that we can and that he is going to make unbelievable saves like he always does.”

Myatovic adds while the Thunderbirds have developed quite a nice rivalry with the Kamloops Blazers over the past two seasons – they are not taking anyone for granted, especially the Remparts and the OHL champion Peterborough Petes.

“Those two teams up east are very skilled. They have a lot of high-end talent as well and they both work hard. Very deep rosters similar to us and Kamloops – I think every team in this tournament is going to be very deep and it’s going to be a challenge. You don’t just win a championship not having a really solid team,”

- Advertisement -

But, the 18-year-old didn’t hide the fact both the T-Birds and Blazers (May 31st) likely are licking their chops to renew acquittances at least once more.

“They are coming for vengeance I think, we eliminated them and there were both good series the last two years – that game will be circled for both games I think.”

“It should be a pretty good battle,” added Myatovic.

Myatovic noted the Thunderbirds should have lots left in the tank, as they only needed to travel five hours to get to their destination.

“We didn’t have to fly across the country, which is huge not having that jet lag we just had to make a trip up the road like we have done several times over the past two years. I think that plays a role and can work to our advantage.”

After the Memorial Cup, Myatovic will head to Buffalo for the NHL Draft Combine from June 4th to 10th.

The whirlwind year will then be capped off at the NHL Draft on June 28th and 29th in Nashville, Tennessee.


- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisement -

Continue Reading