After five season and 219 games with the Vancouver Giants organization, captain Alex Kannok Leipert will play his final game in the WHL. Kannok Leipert, who was the captain the last two seasons became a fan favourite due to his toughness, leadership and willingness to stand up for his teammates. Before the season came to a close, Kannok Leipert answered some questions about his career with the Giants, and looking back on a season that no one will forget anytime soon.
Getting the call
On March 2nd the BC Division received approval and a start date. This was big news for Kannok Leipert as it meant he would be able to end his WHL career on a high note.
“It was a huge relief. That full-year off was pretty tough. The ups and downs. It was unbelievable to hear that we could actually get back to it and play with our brothers again.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) April 8, 2021
“After all the hard work from the past year, it was amazing. I have seen a lot of good 20-year-olds not be able to come back because of not enough space so I was pretty lucky to find a spot with the Giants. It means a lot with the owners putting out so much and allowing us to play. That’s all we could ask for.”
This season Kannok Leipert took on a new challenge, rooming with someone not named Bowen Byram. He was partnered with rookie sensation Mazden Leslie and the two developed a strong friendship.
“My past three years I have always been with Bowen Byram so a little bit closer in age. With Mazden, he doesn’t seem like a 15-year-old. He carries himself well and brings it every night. I’m excited for his future.”
Reflecting on a special career
During his five seasons with the Giants, Kannok Leipert has had some special moments with the franchise. One moment however sticks out as his favourite.
“It has to be our playoff run we went on in 2018. Being able to win and facing that adversity. We built bonds that will last a lifetime. It was amazing. So much fun to go across the whole board and play all these different teams while playing high-level hockey. It was a great experience.”
A great captain
Kannok Leipert served as a great captain for two seasons. Being named captain is another moment he soon will not forget.
“It was a huge learning curve. At first, I maybe tried to do a little too much. I learned to just be myself. It was an honour. Just seeing some of the captains of the past and being able to be a captain in the WHL just meant so much to me.”
Giving back off the ice
Kannok Leipert is not just a great leader on the ice, but off it as well. One project he is very involved with is Hockey Give Blood. A campaign designed to promote blood and stem cell donation through the hockey community.
“I was wanting to get more involved. I saw a lot of players across the league getting into it. Stu Middleton and Aaron Volpatti reached out and I was honoured. It is great stuff they are doing and I had no idea really until they gave me some facts. I then started to do more research. It’s a huge thing that lots of people need. I think being a part of it is good and I think I can use my platform to spread the word a little bit more. Get people my age out there to donate blood and stem cells.”
Final game emotions
Playing your last game in the WHL is difficult. A lot of memories and emotions are present, but it is also a time to reminisce on your accomplishments.
“It’s been becoming real pretty fast these last few games. I think the biggest thing is it was an amazing chapter in my life. It has done so many great things for me and I have met so many great people. I’m excited to move on and see what lies ahead of me.
Thank you Giants’ fans
As Kannok Leipert gets set to play his final game with the Giants, he wanted to thank to organization and fans for all their support over the past five seasons.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) May 13, 2019
“I just want to say thank you for all the support throughout the years. All the amazing people I have met in Vancouver. Being from Regina, I’m a small-town guy but I think you made a Vancouver lover out of me. I’ll definitely be coming back and who knows, maybe end up there in the future.”
Thank you Alex
Kannok Leipert has been one of the most dedicated and hard-working players to wear the crest in their history. He played every game to the best of his ability and Giants’ fans will always be appreciative. A heart and soul guy, Kannok Leipert showed every night why he was a fan favourite in Vancouver.