By KELLEN TANIGUCHI on April 7, 2021.
Carlin Dezainde started following his grandfather’s footsteps over the weekend when he signed with the Medicine Hat Tigers and suited up for their weekend series against the Calgary Hitmen.
Brian Carlin, Dezainde’s grandpa, served as the Tabbies’ first captain in the 1970-71 season.
“It’s definitely really cool, especially for me and my grandpa and the bond we share,” said Dezainde. “I think back to when they shut down the old rink, I got to come here, and he dropped the puck and that was just when I was little. So, I’ve always cheered on the Tigers growing up, and to come sign and play is definitely really special for me.”
Dezainde says his mom named him after his grandpa’s last name, which is something he doesn’t take lightly.
“It’s a big deal for me especially. Me and my grandpa are really close with each other and his hockey career, he did really well, so I’m just trying to follow in his footsteps and hopefully get to the level he played at one day too,” said the 16-year-old.
Tigers head coach Willie Desjardins says it’s an exciting scenario and he believes Dezainde can be a great player.
“I have to imagine his grandpa is pretty proud of him,” said Desjardins. “I think that’s pretty unique. You have our first captain and you got a grandson that’s playing for us. We’re excited about it … I really think this kid could be good. I think Bobby Fox did a good job identifying him and it was a big recruit for us.”
With a few injured forwards, listed as week-to-week, Dezainde signed his contract Friday morning and dressed for the team’s 4-1 win over the Hitmen that evening. Dezainde skated with Tigers captain Ryan Chyzowski and Lukas Svejkovsky and says he learned a lot from them in his first game.
The Tigers were outplayed in the second period, but responded with two power play goals in the third to secure Friday’s win.
“I think it’s about not giving up and that’s one of the biggest lessons they’ve taught me today – the game is never over,” said Dezainde.
The Edge School product says the jump from CSSHL to WHL was big, but he thought he fit in during his first game and it’s one he will always remember.