When the Waywayseecappo Wolverines drafted Hubert Clarke 6th overall during the 2023 MJHL Draft on Sunday, Clarke was preparing for a day worth of hockey games at an aboriginal hockey tournament he was set in to play in, in Portage la Prairie.
“I set my alarm for 9am, and was just preparing myself to be selected,” said Clarke. “I didn’t know where or when I was going to be picked though.”
Getting selected by the Wolverines in the first round may have been a surprise for Hubert, but not to a teammate of his on Team Manitoba at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships, and also a future teammate of his on the Wolverines, Ben Roulette.
“He is a good 2-way defensemen,” says Roulette. “He plays hard and can lay big hits. He can get pucks through from the blue line and can play a shut down role in his own end.”
Clarke had 18 points this past season with the Winnipeg Thrashers Under-17 team in 27 games, before the team bowed out in the first round. He then helped Team Manitoba win Gold at the NAHC in Winnipeg, getting 5 points over six games.
Clarke was told that he was picked from his cousin Hayden Paupanekis, who was later selected by the Wolverines in 5th round, and who was playing with Clarke at the tournament last weekend.
“We didn’t know if (Hayden) was going to be picked in the MJHL Draft,” said Clarke. “But if he was, I never had it in my mind he would be going to the same team I was.”
Clarke started the process of becoming a Wolverine when he attended spring camp earlier this year.
“Head Coach Taylor Harnett said he really liked me at spring camp, and had an idea where I might fit with the team over the next couple years. I’m excited to get started and be a member of this organization”