Giles heads west
The Whitecourt Wolverines didn’t waste any time courting Carter Giles.
The Wolverines, who play in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, reached out to the Ridley Tigers forward soon after the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Giles, a 17-year-old Orangeville native, recently committed to the Wolverines after two seasons at Ridley.
“I’m thrilled to get going in September,” Giles said. “I was weighing a few options. The style of play was a huge factor and just where I felt most comfortable.
“When I was speaking with their scout and head coach, I felt really comfortable with their program and where they’re headed. Seeing their track record with D1 commitments looked really good.”
Giles appreciated being wanted.
“Talking to them, they made me feel comfortable and they were the first team to reach out to me,” he said. “Teams were scrambling because camps weren’t available so you couldn’t see the places you wanted to play. “They had tons of interest in me and I thought it would be a great place for me to develop and play.”
Giles, who also considered offers closer to home in the Central Canadian Hockey League, admitted it was a difficult decision under the circumstances.
“You’re going in blind a little bit but you have to have that trust factor,” Giles said. “I was going off (of what) former players (said). It was really hard not being able to go out there and see the facilities and the town.”
Giles is excited to see how his game translates to the AJHL.
“I know going into next year we’re an older team. I’m a forward and it will be a year to grow and develop,” he said. “The goal is to play two years there and then hopefully receive a D1 scholarship. The track record of the AJHL is really good so it’s a great spot to develop my game. There are a lot of eyes watching out there and that league garners a lot of attention.”
Giles was a point-per-game player for the Tigers this season.
“Under coach (Mike) McCourt, my game grew a lot and I really grew up as a person and a player,” Giles said. “In the first year, there were older guys and you really had to earn your spot. He taught me what abilities and assets I could use to get myself minutes. That really helped me my first year growing into my second year.”
McCourt loves what Giles beings to the table.
“Carter is a quiet leader that plays the game extremely intelligently,” McCourt said. “He is a dynamic skater, who is a responsible two-way player and has tremendous character.”
Giles will miss his time at Ridley.
“Being able to live at Ridley and go to school full time definitely prepared me for university and balancing the mix between hockey and school,” he said. “The atmosphere at Ridley is second to none. There is nothing like it. It was great.”
Giles has been able to skate once a week and is looking forward to ramping up his workouts.
“It’s been tough. The first couple of months after hockey you still have that itch to play. Slowly but surely things are coming back and it’s good finally being able to get on the ice,” he said.
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