RED DEER – This month’s Alumni Spotlight focuses on Rhett Melnyk, formerly of the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers.
Rhett began playing hockey at the young age of four years old, thanks to his father’s interest and experience in the sport. Along with hockey, he used to play baseball and lacrosse, which he believes really helped with the mindset of being a part of a team, along with the physical attributes of being part of a speed and agility.
Beginning in the 2008-09 season, Rhett started playing minor hockey with the Fort Saskatchewan Minor Hockey Association. He would go on to spend all his minor hockey years in the organization, including two seasons of U15 AAA, and one full season of U18 AAA. Due to the COVID-19 stoppage, his 2020-21 season was split between the AEHL and WHL, where he played four games with the 18 AAA Rangers and 16 for the Tri-City Americans. Following another season with the Americans, Rhett was traded to the Edmonton Oil Kings, where he is playing this year.
“Aside from having a great passion for the game, I love all the life lessons that it has taught me,” said Rhett. “I can take those lessons, such as discipline, respect, and teamwork, and apply them anywhere.”
Rhett credits several people as being influences on his hockey career. His family has supported him along with many great coaches who have motivated him. Due to his great leadership and overall playing ability, Jonathan Toews was one of the players that Rhett looked at as a role model growing up.
Rhett’s favourite memory about playing hockey in Alberta is winning a Provincial Championship with his U15 AAA team.
Hockey has given him the opportunity to use his platform to help in his community, create new friendships, travel, and set a good example for young players in minor hockey. His advice to younger players is to always remember to have fun and make the most of their hockey experience.