Treaty 2 Territory – When Treaty 2 Territory hosted the second annual Hockey Night in Treaty 2, Dec. 21 at Credit Union Place in Dauphin, it was a special moment for one player.
Nakodan Greyeyes of Pinaymootang is a forward with the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Dauphin Kings. After suiting up in last year’s inaugural Treaty 2 Night game, he was unable to play in this year’s contest against the Waywayseecappo Wolverines due to injury.
But for Greyeyes, it was still something special.
“For me it’s pretty big. It shows that there’s a lot of Indigenous culture support around this area and, to me, that means a lot,” he said.
Growing up, Greyeyes had a lot of support from family, which provided him with a lot of motivation.
With MJHL teams in Opaskwayak Cree Nation and Waywayseecappo, hockey helps those communities bring in revenue.
“And I think that’s good. And it helps support hockey and sport to the youth,” Greyeyes said.
Greyeyes is reluctant to call himself a role model just yet, but players such as former OCN captain Brady Keeper give young Indigenous players something to strive for.
For Greyeyes, he looked up to Jordin Tootoo, the first Inuk player and the first player to grow up in Nunavut to play in the National Hockey League.
It has been a good season for the 18-year-old so far. Greyeyes has led the MJHL in scoring for much of the season. He attributes playing with confidence and with good linemates as the secret to his success.
But his injury allowed linemate Grady Hobbs to pass Greyeyes to take over the league scoring lead in Dauphin’s final game before the Christmas break, something the unselfish Greyeyes hoped would happen.
Prior to joining the Kings for the 2018-19 season, Greyeyes suited up for the Rink Hockey Academy Prep team, where he tallied 24 goals and 53 points in just 36 games in 2017-18.
Playing there, he said, helped in his development.
“I think it helped me a lot. The schedule we have with the Dauphin Kings is pretty similar to the one I had with the Rink. So the day-to-day hasn’t changed much for me and I like how it is,” Greyeyes said.
Greyeyes stated he gets a lot of support playing under Kings head coach Doug Hedley.
“He wants me to play to my strengths and that’s what I try to do every night,” he said.
As a rookie last season, Greyeyes had a lesser role with the Kings, which allowed him to learn more of the defensive side of the game.
“And I think I can use that every day now,” he added.
Eventually, Greyeyes hopes to land a Division 1 scholarship and play in the NCAA. Until then, he is looking forward to helping the Kings make a run at the league championship.
Last modified: January 1, 2020