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Just as is the case for so many young athletes in the Parkland region, Sam Swanton was drawn to the rink.

Growing up in Dauphin, Sam was eager to get on the ice at the Rotary Arena or Credit Union Place as often as he could growing up. Come the weekend, he was in the stands watching the Parkland Rangers and Dauphin Kings.

Swanton was always one of the top players on his teams while playing within the Dauphin Minor Hockey Association. He always had a smile on his face and a stick in his hand. Sam always had a goal growing up of playing at the next level and after years of hard work and dedication to honing his craft, the Dauphin star joined the Parkland U15 Rangers in the 2020-21 season and played two years with them. 

Sam then progressed to the U18 Rangers for the 2022-23 season where he played in 44 games, scoring one goal and posting 11 points. As Sam returned to the Rangers last season, he was named the team's captain, playing in 39 games and scoring two goals and 16 points. 

While Sam's time as a Ranger has now come to an end, he's thankful for the opportunity he was provided.

"Having a chance to play AAA hockey is not something that every kid gets to experience," said Swanton. "I loved being home while playing elite hockey, I loved being a Ranger."

Relied upon to lock down his opponent's top forwards, Swanton is pleased with how he has progressed over the past few years.

"I feel I have developed my game a ton," offered Swanton. "Just a lot of little details that I tidied up that ultimately helped my game improve tremendously."

Sam also made his MJHL playoff debut last year when he was added to the team's roster for the Turnbull Cup playoffs. He was in the lineup for game one against the Blizzard and looked very impressive and was not out of place at all. 

Swanton knew that he was travelling with the team for their playoff games, but he wasn't expecting to suit up during the most important time of the year.

"I was just along for the ride. When I heard my name, I knew I had to be ready and I had to give it my all," said Swanton. "It was a crazy experience, the stands were packed in The Pas and it was so loud. I will never forget that game and we won which was awesome."

As the off-season continues to roll on, Swanton is spending many hours in the gym intending to get bigger, faster, and stronger. Come August 30, he will be on the ice at Kings fall camp. The former Ranger captain recently put pen to paper as he signed his Letter of Intent ahead of the 2024-25 season. 

Sam grew up watching the Kings play and now, things have come full circle.

"I'm very happy to have signed with the Kings, this has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid," offered Swanton. "I have to put everything I can into this, I need to earn my spot, and earn my ice time."

Sam's priority is being a Dauphin King and making a difference.

"I'm going to the gym every day, I want to get better," ended Swanton. "I'm eating the right way and getting the right amount of sleep, this is what I want."