Left wing Dillon Hamaliuk was selected by the T-Birds in the sixth round, 111th overall, in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft. The Leduc, Alberta native appeared in 17 games during the regular season and scored his first WHL goal on November 2, 2016 against Prince Albert. He appeared in two playoff games during the team’s WHL Championship run. Dillon took some time out of his day to talk to us about his rookie year with the T-Birds, this past summer and his goals for next season.
Seattle Thunderbirds: Hello, Dillon! We are very glad you could join us today. How has your summer been?
Dillon Hamaliuk: Thanks for having me. The summer has been good and I’m excited to be heading back to Seattle in August.
ST: How does it feel to say you are a 2017 WHL Champion Seattle Thunderbird?
DH: It’s an unreal feeling. Being able to play in the playoffs was an experience I’ll never forget.
ST: What went through your head when you first realized the T-Birds had won the WHL Championship for the first time in franchise history?
DH: I was very excited for the team! All of the hard work we put in throughout the season really paid off in the end.
ST: How did you feel after scoring your first WHL goal last November?
DH: It was a relief, but yet very exciting to get the first one off my shoulders.
ST: Besides possibly winning the WHL Championship, what has been your most memorable moment playing for the T-Birds?
DH: The most memorable moment was definitely the home opener in Seattle and seeing all the support we get from our fans.
ST: List three big goals you have for next season.
DH: One goal of mine is obviously to win another WHL championship. My second goal is to play a bigger role on the team. Third, I would like to have another winning season.
ST: What can fans expect from having Matt O’Dette as the new head coach?
DH: The fans can expect a similar style of coaching like this past season, as it led us to win the WHL championship.
ST: How can the T-Birds defend the WHL Championship?
DH: Just by always sticking to the game plan and constantly believing in the team.
ST: How do you describe your still of play? Are there any NHL players you look up to?
DH: I’d say I’m a gritty forward who can also bring in a little bit of offensive ability. I’d say I look up to Ryan Kesler a little bit.
ST: What were your expectations of coming to Seattle as a rookie? Is it anything like you expected?
DH: I expected it to be something new and thought that it was going to be a big change. It was exactly how I expected it.
ST: Do you have any fun plans before you head back to the 253 for Training Camp?
DH: Not really. I’m just preparing to come back to camp this year.
ST: Congrats, Dillon. Not only did you make it through this interview, but you are also a WHL Champion! Good luck next season?
DH: Thank you.
Seattle Thunderbirds Public & Media Relations Intern Kylie Magar conducted the Q&A with Dillon Hamaliuk. The team will be posting Q&A’s during the off-season with returning T-Birds players.