Denver native, Korean National Team alum Lee finding time with KIJHL’s Coyotes a positive to rounding out game in crease
Hayden Lee is developing his game between the pipes this season with the Osoyoos Coyotes, a team in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL).
So far, the Denver native is enjoying his time north of the border.
“The opportunity to play in Osoyoos came from my advisor and also from a positive reference from a coach who saw me at the USAFA Showcase, which was a plus,” Lee said. “What appealed me to the team was the league moving up to Junior A and the opportunities to develop as a hockey player in Canada.
“Living away from home has been good. The town is small but has a great community.”
Born in Denver, Lee started playing hockey once his family relocated in Fishers, Ind.
“I started hockey after finding out I couldn’t continue with speed skating, which I started in South Korea while visiting grandparents during the summer of 2014,” said Lee. ” When I came back to the U.S., the speed skating track shut down, so I decided to try hockey.”
Lee then ventured back to Colorado for his two 18U AAA seasons, first playing for the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders and then the Colorado Thunderbirds.
“Coach Cam Clemenson along with the whole TPH Denver staff has been very influential with where I am today,” Lee said. “In my time playing in Colorado, I will remember winning the state championship with the RoughRiders in 2021-22. Also, winning IIHF gold playing for the Korean National 18U Team happened between my two 18U seasons in Colorado. This would have not happened without the support of my coaches and TPH.”
Looking ahead, Lee has his eye on the immediate future and the long-term future.
“My short-term goals are taking it week by week, performing well in games, and doing my best to stand out,” Lee said. “My long-term goal is to play NCAA Division I hockey in the next few years.”
— Matt Mackinder
(November 8, 2023)