‘It’s been a lifelong dream’: White City product signs with Tampa Bay Lightning

White City’s Jaydon Dureau has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League. (NHL)

He was drafted by the Lightning 147th overall in the 5th round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

“It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to be able to do that. It was so exciting just calling my parents and everyone I love to tell them I finally got that next step out of the way,” said Dureau.

Dureau finished his final season of junior with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. (WHL) The forward finished with a career high 25 goals and 72 points in 58 games on the 2021-22 season. He also spent time with Tampa Bay’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, Syracuse Crunch. A team he would be happy to spend more time with, given the opportunity.

“I saw a stat the other day that I think it was like 80 or 81 per cent of the (Lightning) players on top right now were in the American League from one season to another. So I mean they want to grill you and develop you. So I’m not going to be embarrassed or upset if I’m in Syracuse,” said Dureau. “It’s a great place to be for development reasons to get me to the next level.”

Dureau currently trains at Adrenaline Strength & Conditioning under head sports performance coach, Deanna Wells. Wells said she got emotional when she found out about his signing her.

“I created! It’s exciting because you see them as children, then they see success in junior and they grow up and the next thing you know, they’re drafted then signing,” said Wells. “It’s a crying moment because you see how hard they all work and the effort they put in. So to see their dreams come true, in turn it feels like my dreams come true because I want them to be successful.”

It is an organization that excites Dureau to be a part of. The Lightning have broken barriers lately after making it to their third straight Stanley Cup Final, something an NHL team has not been able to do since the eighties.

“They have a really good team, I mean, they’re in the finals for the third year in a row, they’ve become a dynasty. If they stay consistent it’s going to be a tight window but just have to train hard and thankfully have Deanna for that,” Dureau said.

Dureau will head to the team’s prospects camp this summer followed by main camp in the fall.

“I think the biggest thing I took from last camp was just the speed of the game. I think it’s a lot faster than what some people would expect,” Dureau noted.

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