Before making the full-time jump to the Western Hockey League (WHL), Michael Ladyman spent 86 games in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) with the Winnipeg Blues.
Spending his 16-year-old season with the Blues in 2017-18, Ladyman put together a strong rookie campaign and was named to the MJHL All-Rookie team.
“The MJHL for me was a great stepping stone and learning experience that really helped me grow as a person and a hockey player,” shared Ladyman. “Coming into the league at sixteen, I didn’t exactly know what to expect playing with guys four years older than me, but my coaches and teammates made it very easy for me and helped me become a better player. Playing with and against guys that are a lot older and stronger helped me expand my game and play at a higher level.”
“It helped me realize how big every step is in moving up a league and the amount of time and work you need to put in to become a top guy at every level and advance to the next. With the amount of ice time, games and off ice workouts, it showed me the amount of intensity and professionalism in the league and helped me get use to a pro like schedule.”
After parts of two seasons in the MJHL, Ladyman received a call up to the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs where he suited up in 22 regular season games, splitting his time between Spokane and Winnipeg (Blues).
Ladyman’s WHL rights were traded to his hometown Winnipeg ICE over the summer of 2019, and the rest is history. In his first full season in the WHL, Ladyman was a regular on the back-end for the ICE, playing in 54 games.
Reflecting on his time in the MJHL, Ladyman was quick to credit the professionalism and commitment to success he saw which helped him reach the next level.
“Prepare yourself for a pro like schedule and be ready to play with guys much older and bigger than you. With that being said, the players and coaches are extremely helpful and supportive with helping you grow not only as a player but as a person as well. The staff in this league are committed to helping all of their players reach their full potential and help them move on to the next steps in their game. It is a great development league and was a huge step for me as a player that helped me get ready to play and succeed at the next step,” he finished.