Rookie Roundup: Caden Taylor
By Morgan Blaind
For some athletes, it was in their blood to become a competitor. Others grew up around the sport and watched as other family members played. For the 2007-born forward Caden Taylor, found himself surrounded by encouragement, guidance, and endless support from those closest to him.
Taylor was drafted 9th overall in the 2023 OHL Priority Selection by the Sudbury Wolves. Before the draft, Taylor led the GTHL in scoring with 37 goals and 39 assists for 76 points in 35 games. Leading the Mississauga Senators to the 2023 OHL Cup, he continued his successful season tallying 6 goals and 4 assists for 10 points in 4 games throughout the tournament. After being acquired by the Petes at the trade deadline in exchange for Donovan McCoy, Taylor is 38 games into his OHL career, recording 6 goals and 7 assists.
Family support is something that Taylor did not grow up without. From his parents, grandparents and cousins, he always had people in his corner. Taylor grew up watching his cousins play hockey, waiting for his turn to join. “I’m the youngest of 9 cousins so I would always watch them play. Who you’re always around is who you look up to,” he explained. “After watching them, I decided to try it out. I fell in love the first time I stepped onto the ice.”
For Taylor, the support didn’t end with his family. While he was playing for the 2006 Toronto Junior Canadians, coach Dan Siska also became someone Taylor gained inspiration from. “He was a great role model for me. He taught me how to be the player I am today,” says Taylor. “He gave me the opportunity to play on an amazing team and I don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for him.”
Despite playing at a high level, hockey isn’t the only thing that Taylor likes to spend his time doing. “Since I’m away from home, I like to spend a lot of my time with friends,” he mentions. Growing up in Shanty Bay there are a lot of different activities that Taylor likes to do when he is not at the rink. “I’m able to go on the lake whenever I want and do any type of watersport. There are also some nice bike trails for some mountain biking,” explains Taylor. “In the winter, we do a lot of ice fishing or on the outdoor rink. There are a bunch of ski resorts too.”
As his first year in the OHL is nearing the end, Taylor is looking forward to his future in the league. After recently having a career high six-game point streak, he is continuing to work on his game. “I have had a good shot since I was young,” Taylor explains. “Also being a good skater, I’ve been trying to evolve and grow as a player in general.”