SASKATOON – Nick Zajac has been bleeding blue for five seasons. That’s 319 games and counting that Zajac has sacrificed his body for the Saskatoon Blades. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’ve been the rookie that didn’t have a huge role on the team,” says Zajac.
“I’ve been the middle of the road guy … and I’ve been a guy that’s looked at to produce some offence. I feel like I’ve touched a little bit of everything and I have no regrets on my career. ”
Made in Saskatoon: Changing faces of SaskTel Centre for events
Saskatoon Blades veteran Nick Zajac enters his final WHL season
The Headingley, Man. product has seen it all throughout his five year WHL career.
Zajac got to experience the highs that come with playing in a Memorial Cup tournament. He helped the Blades win 18 games in a row in 2013, a season which Saskatoon went on to win 44 games.
But he has also suffered through his share of heartbreak with the boys in blue, as this will mark the third consecutive season the Blades have failed to claim a playoff spot. To Zajac’s credit, he says he wouldn’t change a thing.
When times got tough, Zajac could have asked for a trade, as more and more WHL players seem to be doing these days. Instead, Nick wanted to stay in Saskatoon and help the Blades through their rebuilding process.
“As a first year guy you get your feet wet in the league. As a second year guy you kind of grow to love the team and love the city. I fell in love, and I just didn’t want to leave.”
When Zajac reflects on his junior career, he’ll miss scoring goals and the roar of the crowd. But what he’ll miss most is spending time with his team mates.
“Going to movies, hanging out at home, anything to pass the time. We don’t know a lot of people in the city, but we have each other, so that’s what we rely on.”
Saturday will mark the final chapter of Nick Zajac’s junior career, but the Blades captain isn’t done with hockey. Zajac plans to attend university in the fall, where he hopes to play CIS level hockey.
So for the first time in over five years, Zajac will likely bleed a colour other than blue.
WATCH BELOW: Jack Haskins goes 1 on 1 with Nick Zajac