Alyandro De Leon was a member of the Portage Terriers for six games last season and was extremely productive in the green and white. De Leon put up seven points in his six games with Portage before he was traded to the SJHL's Nipawin Hawks.
De Leon and the Terriers will be reuniting next season after Portage acquired him via trade last week.
"I got a phone call from my coach with Nipawin, and he said that I got traded back to Portage. There was a lot of excitement on my end. I didn't expect that Portage would take me back after trading me the same year," De Leon explains. "I'm super excited to come back to Portage. I loved it there. I'm happy to know that they wanted me back."
🚨🚨🚨TRADE ALERT: The Portage Terriers have reacquired F Alyandro De Leon (04) from the Nipawin Hawks (SJHL) for a player development fee. #mjhlterriers🐶 #Trade— Portage Terriers (@PortageTerriers) June 26, 2023
FULL DETAILS ➡️ https://t.co/Q0HkMUHOYu pic.twitter.com/afxDJl9TBW
The Langley, British Columbia product was in his first year of Junior A hockey in 2022-23. While his time with Nipawin wasn't quite as prolific as his tenure in Portage, De Leon believes he learned a lot about what it takes to make it at this level.
"Obviously, speed and strength is a factor. Now being one of the older players, I can take advantage of that," says De Leon. "I learned a lot off the puck, like where you want to be and how to get open when guys are always on you."
The 19-year-old says there was definitely a learning curve in his rookie season; however, when he played in Portage, he fit in seamlessly.
"Last year's team was really talented. It was easy for me to adjust to the Junior A level just because of how great my teammates were at moving the puck. Overall, they were just easy to play with."
For Terrier fans who didn't get to watch him during his first stint in Portage, De Leon describes his playstyle.
"I'd like to say I'm an offensive threat," De Leon continues. "I can score goals, and I can also be a playmaker. I'm a fast and skilled player that likes to score a lot of goals."
De Leon is well aware of the success the Terriers' organization expects and says he is ready to help this team get back to the promised land.
"Obviously, I want to make the playoffs. The playoffs are always fun. I know Portage hosted the Centennial Cup last year, but let's make the Centennial Cup again. Why not?" says De Leon. "It would mean the world to me to get there. The Centennial Cup is a prestigious tournament, and to be a part of that would be super fun."
De Leon and the Terriers are less than three months away from the regular season opener.