Stoykewych relishes unique AHL career

MJHL Podcast Feature – Written by Kyle Prystupa, Interview by Erik Swar, MJHL Media:  

Currently enjoying a professional career with nearly 250 games played in the American Hockey League (AHL), Peter Stoykewych doesn’t take for granted the special opportunity to play hockey in front family and friends.

As a product of the Winnipeg Monarchs AAA program in Bantam then one season with the Winnipeg Wild (MB U18 AAA), Stoykewych made the jump to the MJHL playing two seasons with the Winnipeg Blues in 2008-09 and 2009-10.  Both seasons Peter had the rare chance to play with older brother Adam who began with the blues in 2007 and eventually played four MJHL seasons before moving onto USports hockey. “He always kind of kept an eye out for me and helped me along the way” comments Peter on the first opportunity to ever play with his older brother.  “Having him there was huge for me just in a sense able to integrate with the team” referring to his rookie season in 2008-09.

After a coaching change part way through the season Ryan Smith took over the bench for the Blues, now currently with the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL), and made use of an opportunity to develop a young prospect immediately.  Stoykewych notes “he gave me a chance to play, and really at 16 that’s all I could ask for and kind of got my feet wet in the league.”  In his second MJHL season Stoykewych formed into an steady defenceman and a young star in the league. That season he earned a place on Team Canada West for the World Junior A Challenge, an invite to the CJHL Top Prospects Game and later that June was drafted into the NHL by the Atlanta Thrashers who soon became the Winnipeg Jets.

Stoykewych earned a scholarship with Colorado College (NCAA, Division I) where he cherished playing four full seasons.  At the end of his senior season he was able to get his first professional experience playing 6 games with the St. John’s IceCaps the AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets at the time.

Next fall, Peter began his first full season of professional hockey in 2015-16 fittingly as the Jets moved their affiliate to play alongside the big club in Winnipeg.  “Just to be able to play at home is something pretty special, pretty unique, fortunately for me I’ve been able to do that for a hand full of years now.”

Stoykewych is entering his fifth season with the Manitoba Moose and in 2018-19 was named captain of the club.  “It’s a really small, small, hockey world and I’m just glad I’ve gotten to be a part of it and obviously getting a captain here I take a lot of pride in that and I don’t take that lightly…” beams Peter on the honour of being a hometown and professional captain.

For more, listen to the full MJHL Podcast (Episode 3) interview with Peter Stoykewych hosted by Erik Swar.  The MJHL Podcast takes you inside the league each week with recaps, stories, interviews, rankings, and weekend previews.  The MJHL Podcast will be available on all major platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more.