PORT AUX BASQUES, N.L. - Deeann Batherson couldn’t be prouder.
Her son, Drake Batherson, had just helped Team Canada win a gold medal at the World Junior championships.
“It was one of the most exciting moments as a hockey Mom,” she told the Gulf News via email from her home in Nova Scotia.
“When the final buzzer went my eyes were on Drake the whole time – just watching his pure joy in winning and celebrating with his teammates and the whole coaching and training staff.”
Batherson says the tournament was unforgettable for her entire family, and many of them travelled to Buffalo where the World Juniors were held.
Those that couldn’t attend in person showed up at the airport, along with an excited crowd of fans to welcome home the gold medalist.
“Drake has always been lucky to have support from many family and friends, but this tournament was not like the others,” his mother explained. “We were getting texts and messages of support from friends in Germany, Canada and the US.”
She says her son’s talent has always been evident at every level of hockey, and that he has played big roles on his teams.
Despite that, it was only when NHL teams began calling for interviews before the 2017 entry draft that the Bathersons realized Drake might truly stand a chance.
“It was not until we heard his name called June 2017 in Chicago by the Ottawa Senators,” recalls Batherson. “That was truly the moment Drake’s dream came true. As parents all you hope for is that your children’s dreams come true, and you support that dream and teach them that with hard work, and let nothing block the path to those dreams.”
For now, the path to someday donning an Ottawa Senators sweater is through Blaineville-Boisbriand Armada.
The 19-year-old forward was a fan favourite with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, and as the Bathersons still have family ties to the area, they were able to attend plenty of games to watch Drake play. That will be much harder now that he’s been dealt to the Armada.
“With the move to Blainville we will not get a chance to see him play there,” confirmed Batherson. “The good news is all the games are webcast, so we will be able to watch all his games on the webcast. I went to French school growing up, so I can speak French fluently.”
And while the Bathersons still cherish their Newfoundland ties, it’s not exactly easy to schedule a visit with family and friends given the kids’ training schedules.
“Drake loves Newfoundland, and (has) so many great memories of visits when he was younger,” his mother wrote. “His biggest trip was when he was 12 years old and went with my Dad and his cousin on a salmon fishing trip.
“Along with two uncles, they hit the rivers learning to fly fish and (with) hopes of catching a salmon. Drake will never forget the moment his line became heavy and (he) reeled in his very first salmon on his first fly-fishing trip! Drake’s smile that day was as big as it was … when he won gold with Team Canada.”
So where does Drake keep that shiny new gold medal?
“The gold medal is pretty heavy!” his mother said. “We have it hanging in the kitchen – proudly displayed for all to see!”
Read more about Drake Batherson:
- Hard work pays off for Drake Batherson
- Team Canada’s Drake Batherson greets fans at Valley Wildcats game in Berwick
- Screaming Eagles trade Batherson to Armada for three players and draft pick
- New Minas native Batherson to be dealt to Armada from Screaming Eagles: reports
- Drake Batherson representing Canada at World Juniors on Boxing Day
- Batherson family proud of Drake
- Screaming Eagles' Batherson named to Team Canada for World Juniors
- Screaming Eagles' Batherson named to world junior selection camp roster
- Gawanke, Batherson bring NHL camp experience back to Screaming Eagles roster
- Batherson preparing for Senators training camp
- Living the Dream: New Minas hockey player drafted by NHL’s Ottawa Senators