It seems that everywhere Chilliwak Chiefs’ William Calverley goes, a winning culture follows. Some may call him lucky, but in this case it is far from it.
The leadership and personality the 19-year-old brings to his hockey teams consistently gravitate people towards him, and have been on display on and off the ice throughout his career. Just over a week ago, they were on display again as Chilliwack hoisted the 2018 RBC Cup in their home barn.
The Chiefs’ captain led his team with seven points, and led the tournament with six goals, none being bigger than the game-tying goal in the finals against the OJHL champion Wellington Dukes with less than five minutes to go. But in addition to his offensive numbers, Calverley’s two-way game is what really stood out, and is something that began with the North York Rangers in his younger years.
Before the 5’9 centremen travelled to British Columbia for Junior A hockey, he was a part of the Rangers’ system. The Scarborough native spent three seasons with the Rangers AAA team between Minor Midget and Midget, tallying 44 goals and 99 points in that span, in addition to a pair of assists in four games with the Junior A Rangers as an AP.
Calverley truly enjoyed his experience with the Rangers organization, and met numerous great people who helped him develop from being a pure offensive talent into a complete 200-foot player. This evolution on the defensive side is largely what allowed him take a big step up as a hockey player.
“I found my defensive game in North York from learning from some good coaches who took pride in having a great D-zone,” Calverley explains.
Being captain of the Chiefs this past season was a familiar role for Calverley, who wore the ‘C’ twice in his the three seasons with the Rangers. During that time, the team qualified for the OHL Cup and became national champions in 2016, capturing the Telus Cup. Similar to the RBC Cup this year, he recorded six goals in seven games.
Former teammates of that championship team had nothing but positive things to when asked about Calverley.
“Will was a leader on and off the ice. Everyone always likes him and kind of follows his lead,” current North York goalie, Jett Alexander explained. “He speaks up at the right times but is always leading by example.”
Davis Park’s comments were very similar to Jett’s.
“I’ve known Will for a while, we went to high school together and played on the same team for about 2 years,” Davis said. “Off the ice he’s a nice guys and all around class act. On the ice he’s a true leader as you can tell with winning two national championships as a captain.”
When it comes to describing an elite leader, Calverley pinpoints one aspect all captains need to gain: respect in a locker room.
“To me I think in order to be a good leader you have to be willing to hold your teammates accountable.”
In addition to his leadership abilities, William did everything that could be asked of a number one centerman during his Junior A career. He matched up against the opposing teams’ top lines while also putting up points. In 111 career games in Chilliwack, he posted 35 goals and 61 assists for 96 points. That elite play attracted NCAA Division 1 schools to call for his services. In the end, he committed to Rochester Institute for Technology in New York. The reason for it was quiet simple:
“I committed to RIT because of its winning culture and how highly praised it was by former players.”
Since the first day he walked into the Rangers system, Calverley has been the perfect role model for his peers. Based on his track record of being an exceptional leader with North York and Chilliwack, don’t be surprised if the future Tiger has the ‘C’ on his jersey down the road.