We often joked that Devon, a proud member of the Saanich Minor Hockey Association from 2001 to 2015, loved hockey from the time he could chase a ball around the kitchen with a wooden spoon. Inspired by that enthusiasm, Devon received his first hockey net and stick for his second birthday, but our true induction into the “Hockey Family” came in 2001, when starting kindergarten also meant starting hockey with the Saanich Braves.

From that first year of Squirts (Novice A), each September brought the promise of a new season, with familiar friends, new teammates, coaches and families with whom we’ve forged so many amazing memories.

Win or lose, Devon loved his time on the ice, whether for morning practice or weekend roadtrips. A workhorse winger with a perpetual smile, often to the annoyance of opposing players, Devon worked hard throughout his time with the Braves, earning spots on the Atom Development, PeeWee, Bantam and Midget Rep teams.

He’d often engage in a friendly chat with the opposing winger, but when the puck dropped would quickly get to work with sharp passes and finished checks.

We travelled the length of the Island and throughout southern BC for this sport we all loved, and in the process spent many amazing hours and days at the rink together – times we’re so grateful to have shared with each other and our many friends in sport.

13 years after stepping on the ice for Novice A, as Devon received his Saanich Braves graduation ring, we saw so many of those same families who began that hockey journey with us – families we have had such heartfelt support from following his passing – and we know that more than a sport, hockey truly is about family.

Devon (1997 – 2019) was a fierce friend and defender of his teammates, and while he left us far too soon, he leaves a lifetime full of wonderful memories for those who were lucky enough to know him.

A service to honour Devon will be held on November 23 from 12:00pm-4:00pm at the Wardroom at CFB Esquimalt.