A steady but sure approach has carried defenceman Dysin Mayo of Victoria to a second consecutive Western Hockey League final with the Edmonton Oil Kings and a ranking for the 2014 NHL draft.
“I’m not the loudest person. I play a two-way game but take care of my zone first,” said the emerging Juan de Fuca minor hockey product.
“I’m developing in all my areas and gaining more confidence.”
So much so that the six-foot-one Mayo is rated 82nd among North American skaters for this summer’s NHL draft.
“I would like to get drafted, but nothing is guaranteed in this game,” said the former Spencer Middle School student, by phone from Edmonton.
“I just put that in the back of my mind for now while the playoffs are on.”
Mayo and his Oil Kings, down 2-0 to the Portland Winterhawks, will be looking to climb back into the WHL final as the series now swings to the Alberta capital for Game 3 tonight and Game 4 on Wednesday. The games are on Shaw TV.
The talent-laden Winterhawks defeated the Victoria Royals in the Western Conference semifinals en route to the league final.
“They [Winterhawks] are small and fast, and we have to limit our mistakes,” said Mayo.
“We have to come out hard at home.”
This is the third straight season in which the Oil Kings and Winterhawks have met in the WHL final. Mayo, a rookie last year when Portland defeated Edmonton, is one of the key cogs for the Oil Kings as they look to rally. The Islander, solid in his own end, is also a factor in the offensive zone with three goals and 11 points in 16 playoff games this spring after recording seven goals and 35 points in 63 regular-season games.
Next season, Mayo will more fully take on a leadership role with the Oil Kings.
“I learned a lot from the older guys when I first got to Edmonton,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to becoming more of a leader myself as my career progresses … more by example than anything else.”
Growing up, Mayo used to attend Victoria Salmon Kings ECHL games but said he can’t specifically remember Derek Laxdal coaching the Idaho Steelheads. Laxdal has now coached the Oil Kings to great success in the WHL.
“[Laxdal] is great systems-wise,” said Mayo, of what makes the Oil Kings click.
Mayo will return to the Island for off-season training this summer and to await the NHL draft.