Peyton Hoyt experimented with a lot of sports growing up. Soccer, volleyball, basketball – you name it, he played it. Baseball was a particular favourite of his. But Peyton doesn’t have time for those now. The 17-year-old from Lincoln, N.B., is too busy playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Peyton first laced up his skates with the Oromocto Eagles, just down the street from his hometown. He played with the team until he reached peewee, after which he joined the Fredericton Express. Peyton played with the Fredericton Canadiens bantam team for one year, and another year as an underage midget player.
He was selected sixth overall in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
“Hockey was one of the many sports I played, but I guess it stuck, thankfully,” Peyton said.
As Peyton grew older this after-school extracurricular eventually became a lifestyle. As he developed, more opportunities presented themselves, which propelled his hockey career even further.
“When I was on the U-16 team, we went to the Canada Games and the Gatorade Excellence Challenge,” Peyton said. “The Gatorade Challenge was probably the biggest opportunity to be seen by scouts that I could have been given. It was beneficial in advancing my career and I owe that to Hockey New Brunswick.”
While many hockey players considering attending prep schools as a way to further their exposure, it never crossed Peyton’s mind. He was focused on making a name for himself at home in the Maritimes.
“When I was younger I always wanted to play high-performance hockey, but I never thought about going to a prep school in the United States. In Atlantic Canada, you see players like Brad Marchand and Jake Allen come up through their local hockey organizations, and you want to go the same route.”
Playing as a 16-year-old winger in the Q was an eye-opening experience. It was a good opportunity for him to learn from and practice with players who have been drafted into the NHL and those who have competed at the World Juniors, and he learned to be more professional both on and off the ice.
Peyton still plays with the Screaming Eagles and is gearing up for his second year with the squad. In his rookie season, he faced a setback when he sustained a concussion early on in the year. Now healthy, Peyton has his mind focused on one thing: having the best season he can.
“I’ve done everything I can do to set myself up to have the best year. Hopefully everything goes as planned.”