Kelowna product Sylvester having career year as 20-year-old with Calgary
Over the course of a five year Western Hockey League career Kelowna Minor Hockey product Cody Sylvester has had plenty of success.
He's played over 300 WHL games as a member of the Calgary Hitmen, he's been to the Memorial Cup, he's been named WHL Player of the Week and now this week he was named the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Week for the first time.
But not since minor hockey had he posted a seven point game. Until the Hitmen forward set a new Calgary franchise record for points in a single game with seven in a 9-5 win over the Saskatoon Blades. It was part of a four game stretch that saw Sylvester record 12 points in four straight Calgary wins and result in the CHL Player of the Week award.
"It just seemed like everything I touched, or my teammates touched, turned to gold," said Sylvester this week, adding he may have had seven points in minor hockey, but never in a WHL game. "I think the last time that may have happened was in atom or peewee. It's a pretty big honour to be recognized. There are a lof of great players in the CHL. It's a good accomplishment but I couldn't have done it without my teammates and especially my linemates."
A two-time WHL Player of the Week this season, Sylvester is having his best year in a five year career with the Hitmen. He's leading the team in scoring and is 11th in the WHL in scoring with 39 goals and 48 assists and a plus-25 rating on a Hitmen team that sits in third in the WHL Eastern Conference with a 45-20-1-4 mark heading into the final weekend of the WHL season.
As a 20-year-old he will complete a five year career this year—all with Calgary—putting special meaning on the playoffs as the free agent rounds out a solid junior career.
"It's my 20-year-old season and through my five years I've had some ups and downs," he said. "I've been to the league final twice and I've had the privilege to play in the Memorial Cup but I've also been at the other end of things. This year it's my last kick at the can so I just want to give it my all and end things on a positive."
Calgary's first round opponent is yet to be determined with a log jam in the WHL Eastern Conference standings. The Hitmen finish out their regular season with a home and home with Kootenay.
For Sylvester, having a five year WHL season nearing its end is a surreal feeling.
"I still feel like I'm 16, coming into the league for the first time," he said with a chuckle. "I'm privileged to say that I have stayed on the same team for five years. I've enjoyed every minute of it. I came to the Calgary organizition when i was 16 and the coaching staff has taught me so much about the game. I learned a lot from some of the older players during that time and I've grown a lot as a player."