By Cole Parkinson
While players were being called in mid-May at the 2022 WHL Draft, three former Taber Golden Suns players heard their names called.
Defenceman Noah Smith (Brooks) was taken in the sixth round, 126th overall by the Prince Alberta Raiders, while Rhett Serfas (Picture Butte) was taken in the seventh round, 219th overall by the Edmonton Oil Kings, and Jager Gugelylka (Coaldale) was taken in the tenth round by the Edmonton Oil Kings. Smith played for Kelowna Rink Hockey Academy (RHA) this past season where he had a goal and 12 points over 26 games. Serfas also spent the 2021-22 season playing for Kelowna RHA this past season where he collected one goal and eight assists over 30 games. Gugelylka meanwhile was with the Lethbridge Golden Hawks U15 AAA program where he had eight goals and 17 assists which saw him finish eighth in defenceman scoring in the entire U15 AEHL.
With all three graduating from the Golden Suns’ program in Taber, it’s a point of pride for the Suns as they see some former players take the next step. Each of the players played two seasons with the Suns and were in the organization as U13 players from 2018-2020.
“It is pretty cool — to have coached all three of them for at least two years and I watched them when they were even younger before coaching them. It’s pretty neat,” said Kevin Serfas, president of the Golden Suns. “I think the biggest thing to remember is this is just a foot in the door for these boys. There is a lot of work ahead of them to get to the point where they (play). The first step is to get offered a contract to play and then play, so the work has just begun for all of them. They are getting, each of these teams are getting hard-working, grit-type kids. They’ve come a long way since the first year that I coached them as 12-year-olds in the South Central (Alberta) Hockey League. They all skate well and they’re all hard workers.”
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