Darren Gisti and Jaxon Heeney are looking to extend the Virden Oil Capitals season as long as they can.
They, along with forward Kolten Kanaski, defenceman Jayden Wojciechowski, and goalie Ethan Peterson, are in their 20-year-old campaigns. The group wants to make a deep playoff run before aging out of junior hockey. No matter what happens, they will definitely leave with a lot of memories.
“What I’ve liked most about junior hockey is all the friends I’ve made through the years,” Heeney said.
Both players joined the Oil Caps in the new year. At the Jan. 10 trade deadline, the team added Gisti from the OCN Blizzard. The 6-foot, 175-pound blue liner from Winnipeg had three goals and nine points in 19 regular season games this season for Virden. He has often been paired with rookie Bray Rookes from Manson.
“Darren obviously brings experience to our young defence,” Oil Caps head coach Tyson Ramsey. “He has an ability to create offence and shoots the puck really well. He is a good puck mover and adds a calmness to our backend.”
This is Gisti’s second time around with the Oil Capitals. After playing as a rookie for Dauphin in 2016-2017, he started the next season with Virden. He was traded to Waywayseecappo and has played with three other teams since. Gisti was acquired from OCN. He is pleased to be back in Virden.
“I enjoy all the support we get from everyone around the town,” said Gisti, who billets with Janice Nylin.
Forrest’s Heeney played U18 for the Yellowhead Chiefs. Until he joined the Oil Caps after the deadline, Heeney played his entire junior career in Dauphin. The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder, who billets with Greg and Cathy Tough, had five goals and 10 penalty minutes in 14 games.
“Jaxon has been a great addition,” Ramsey said. “He brings some experience and grit to our lineup. He has been real good killing penalties and his maturity and ability to manage the puck are things that our group needs. He has also been able to contribute offensively as well so that has been nice. He is a great kid and we are very fortunate to have added him.”
After hockey, Heeney would like to be a pilot. Gisti plans on attending a post-secondary school to become an electrician or a massage therapist.