KAMLOOPS — 16-year-old Connor Zary grew up cheering for the Saskatoon Blades, hoping one day to play for his hometown team.
He ended up being drafted by Kamloops as a second-round pick in 2016. But on saturday night, Zary will get the opportunity to live out the dream of playing major junior hockey in front of family and friends in Saskatoon.
"I know my mom, dad, grandma are all going to be there," he said with a smile on his face. "My brother. A lot of relatives, uncles, aunties, all that family and friends."
Zary doesn't know exactly how many will be in the stands at the Sask Tel Centre, but has already been getting lots of interest.
"My mom and dad have been texting me, phoning me, just saying how people are asking for tickets and when's the game, so they can come," he said. "It should be quite a good crowd there for me hopefully."
Devan Harrison, a native of Regina, is expecting upwards of 75 people at Wednesday's game against the Pats. It's also a homecoming for Carson Denomie, also a Regina product.
"Definitely looking forward to going home," said Denomie. "It's going to be really exciting. I've got a bunch of friends from back home. I'm going to see them and play against them, so it's exciting."
As Kamloops makes its way east to Manitoba, a busload of people will be travelling to brandon to see Jermaine 'The Train' Loewen.
"I think I have about 60 people or so coming to that game. They rented a bus and they got a bunch of people drive three hours to see me, so that's pretty special," said Loewen.
Loewen, who was adopted a family in Manitoba, resides from Arborg, a town about 1,200 people. It's 300 kilometres from Brandon.
"I have a pretty big family on both sides," said Loewen. "So quite a bit of family will be there, and there will be some friends there probably, and some other people that want to slip onto the bus and see me play."
The six players returning home to the Prairies knows how special this trip really is, as it happens only once every two years.
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