The numbers speak for themselves.

Thirty goals.

Seventy-one points.

Looking at it from a forward perspective you’d think, ‘Hey, that’s pretty good.’

But these are numbers from a defenceman. Calgary’s own - Carter Yakemchuk.

The local product was electric all season for the WHL’s Hitmen, finishing second in team scoring and becoming the first defender in franchise history to hit the 30-goal mark.

On top of that, he was just one of two CHL rearguards – joining fellow draft eligible prospect Zayne Parekh – to reach that number.

“It was pretty cool to get that 30 goals,” he said. “It was all made possible because of my teammates. The guys I played with deserve a ton of credit that I was able to do that.

“I felt it was a really good season, I thought I grew a lot as a player over the year and I was really happy with how it went. I felt like I stepped in to a leadership role more, especially after the trade deadline to be more of a leader for our team, too.”

Draft prospect Carter Yakemchuk sets franchise record

While the offensive numbers are highly impressive, the 18-year-old was focused on further rounding out his game – specifically, in the defensive end.

“I wanted to really show what I could do there and be more responsible defensively,” Yakemchuk said. “It’s something I thought made strides throughout the season in taking care of our own end.

“It’s nice to produce but you’ve got to protect your end to make that happen.”

Overall, it was an eventful season from meeting with NHL scouts and playing in the CHL Top Prospects Game, to being named to the league’s second all-star team.

The only thing missing was post-season action, but there’s a lot to build on for the Hitmen, as they head into the new season with high hopes. It’s an exciting young squad that is on the rise with Yakemchuk being a key piece of the puzzle.

“Our team came together and grew a lot as the year went on,” he said. “Our younger players got a lot of experience in and even the older guys took steps. I think it’s looking really good for our group for this coming season; we’re going to be a good team.

“Our goal is to make playoffs and do something for our season. I want to do whatever I can to help make that possible, improve all areas of my game and be better every day for the team.”

Yakemchuk scores his 30th goal of the season

With the NHL Draft slowly creeping up, Yakemchuk and many other prospects are gearing up to further impress with the NHL Combine this week, with more testing and interviews.

The whole draft year process has been surreal for the Calgary kid, who has dreamt about this moment ever since he got his start in the sport.

From the Calgary Flames U15 squad, to the Hitmen, and now, an NHL club soon to be determined.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “I remember my first ever training camp with the Hitmen like it was yesterday. It’s gone by quick but made lots of new friends and a lot of exciting experiences, so it’s been a really good journey.

“Being here, I owe it all to my parents. They took me to all my games and practices growing up and have been my biggest fans and supporters. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am and I’m just grateful for them.

“I know it’s going to be exciting day for my family and myself when my name gets called.”