Daylin Smallchild played for the Swan Valley Stampeders for two years, and what happened after his playing days in the Parkland wasn't expected... at least yet.
The 21-year-old has signed on to play professionally with the Maddogs Mannheim who are based out of Germany.
"I'm so excited to head to Germany to continue playing hockey," said Smallchild. "When I first found out about it, I was probably the happiest guy around. I couldn't believe I was actually going to sign to play pro hockey."
It all started when Daylin was chatting with an agent, and the rest is history.
Daylin really made a name for himself on the backend last year for the Stampeders, but he knows the transition from Jr. A hockey in Canada, to professional hockey in Germany, will be a tough one.
"You bet, it'll be tough for sure," said Smallchild. "I just have to take it day-by-day, and game-by-game. I'll get used to it, it'll just take lots of work, and I'm prepared to put that in."
With the signing, Smallchild will become the first indigenous player from Beardy's and Okemasis Cree Nation to play pro hockey in any capacity.
"It's definitely a really special feeling," said Smallchild. "I take pride in my community. It's very special to come from this reserve and become the first player to play pro hockey. I've really been feeling the support from people texting me, and all of that. It's all been pretty overwhelming."
The Duck Lake native will leave for Germany at the end of the month, and it's taken quite some time for everything to sink it... but it seems like it finally has.
"It's really starting to hit me that I'm leaving home and going overseas," said Smallchild. "My parents are always reminding me too. It's just such a humbling feeling."
Daylin got a feel of living away from home when he played for the Stampeders, which was five hours away from his home, but he knows everything's about to change once again with Germany being so far, and him having to adopt a new culture and way of life.
"I'm pretty nervous to go over there and experience a new style of hockey, and culture," said Smallchild. "But, I'm really excited to get the chance to just soak it all in and play the game I love."
His two seasons in Swan saw Daylin suit up in 110 games, where he scored nine times and assisted on 37 others.
"They took care of me over there," said Smallchild. "I really enjoyed my time over there, and I definitely really improved.
AUDIO: Daylin Smallchild: