Beardy’s man to play professional hockey in Germany
- EFN Staff | August 26, 2018
Dayliin Smallchild, 21, from the Beardy’s and Okemasis Cree Nation (BOCN) recently signed a contract to play professional hockey in Germany.
Smallchild will be boarding a plane to his destination end of August – it will be a trip dream come true for him.
“To be from Beardy’s and to be given an opportunity play pro overseas, I think it’s pretty cool and special,” he said. “I’m going to be one of the first pro players to play overseas and I’m going to come back with experience, that’s going to be cool for not only me but for my family and my community.”
He started playing hockey when he was four years old and has been hooked since. Growing up, he always looked up to his uncle, Myles Cameron who played with the Beardy’s Blawkhawks ‘AAA’ team. Cameron was one of the greatest and influential hockey players in Smallchild’s life.
“We skated all the time together…it was pretty cool to him play on the ice,” said Smallchild.
Cameron passed away tragically back in 2010 from a car accident. Losing his uncle was one of the hardest impacts on Smallchild’s life.
“It was really hard on me and my family,” he said. “As years went on, it got a lot easier. When I was [playing hockey in Yorkton], I felt like he was there with me. It was overwhelming but as I keep playing hockey every year, it got a lot easier for the family and myself.”
Smallchild is the eldest out of his siblings. With his positive lifestyle and the courage to chase his dreams, he hopes his actions have an effect on others especially the younger ones in his family.
“When they grow up, I want them to look up to someone like me and not to only pursue in sports but other areas as well,” said Smallchild. “I want them to have a good outcome in life too.”
Throughout the years, he had played hockey for his home community, the town of Warman, Yorkton, Onion Lake, La Ronge, Swan River and most recently, he signed a contract to play with Germany’s Mannheim Mad Dogs.
“My friend [Nathan Johnson] asked me my thoughts on playing in Germany. But I wasn’t sure at first,” he said. “But next thing, the [hockey management] pulled out a contract so I signed.”
Even though he lost his uncle who was his hockey mentor, he used the loss to grow knowing his uncle would be proud of him.
“I skate whenever I can and continue to remain positive in the different outcomes of life. I will continue working hard by playing hockey and see where it takes me,” he said.
His message to others to not give up even through life’s losses, work hard and stay true to your dreams. Smallchild will be leaving August 29th and will be there for until late March 2019. He and his family have been fundraising in the community to help offset the costs of his flight. A Go Fund Me page called ‘Daylin Smallchilds Germany Trip’ has been established.