Former Okanagan Hockey Academy student athlete Joe Hicketts has been called up by the Detroit Red Wings.
Hicketts, 21, is expected to make his NHL debut on Monday night against the New Jersey Devils.
The Kamloops, B.C. product spent the 2011-12 season attending the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton, registering 12 points (6-6-12) in 12 Canadian Sport School Hockey League games with the OHA Midget Prep team, along with 54 points (17-37-54) in 51 games overall.
After a four-year junior hockey career with the Victoria Royals, two of which as team captain, Hicketts joined the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins in 2016, where he was part of the Calder Cup Championship team. In 116 career AHL games, he has registered 42 points (9-33-42).
The 5-foot-8 defenceman represented Canada twice at the World Juniors, winning the gold medal in 2015.
During his illustrious career with the Royals, Hicketts was named to the WHL (West) First All-Star Team in 2016, Second All-Star Team in 2015, and finished with 173 points (32-141-173) in 224 career WHL regular season games, along with 15 points (1-14-15) in 29 career post-season contests.
Hicketts becomes the second OHA alum to make his NHL debut, following current Calgary Flames forward Curtis Lazar, who made his debut in 2014 with the Ottawa Senators.
I can confidently say the Okanagan Hockey Academy had an impact on me as a hockey player but more importantly as a person. OHA taught me to bring my best self in all aspects of life including as a student, player and community member. I learned many life skills during my time at OHA that I will take with me much longer than my playing career and that is the greatest gift the staff, coaches, billets and community gave to me. I strongly believe I am a more well-rounded individual because of my time at OHA. I hope any young hockey player with drive, determination and a passion to become a better player and person is able to have the chance to attend somewhere so amazing. For me OHA gave me the best balance of academics, athletics, family and social life. I am extremely grateful for my time at Okanagan Hockey Academy.