While Trevor Giwerowski was spending time in the ocean, the Amarillo Bulls were making waves.
They selected the former Archbishop Ryan High School goalie with their fifth pick in the North American Hockey League draft, meaning the Bensalem native is bound for Texas when hockey season gets going again.
The chance to play in the top junior hockey league in the world is exactly what he was looking for.
“I was on the beach in Long Branch, we went to Princeton to skate, and then came over just to check to see who was getting drafted, and I saw they took me,” Giwerowski said. “It’s the best junior hockey league, one of them, so it’s a great opportunity for me. I’m looking forward to playing for them and seeing what happens.”
Giwerowski has been a star goalie ever since he was elected to play the position when he was 6. His father, also a goalie, played for the Philly Blazers youth hockey team, but didn’t encourage his son to get in net. The younger Giwerowski is now happy with the decision.
“We didn’t have a goalie, so I said I would do it, and my dad said no,” Giwerowski said. “I was going to be a defenseman, but then we still didn’t have a goalie, so they moved me there. I liked it a lot.”
It didn’t take him long to become good.
He entered Ryan as a freshman and immediately led the Raiders to the Catholic League championship. While the Catholic League is a competitive league, he wanted to make a serious run at making hockey work, so he transferred to a prep school in Kent, Connecticut. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, especially because one of his teammates was his brother Tyler, who was a sophomore at the time, but it was one that has worked out.
“I really didn’t want to leave Ryan, I loved it there, I had a lot of friends there and we won the championship,” said Giwerowski, 19, who graduated from high school in 2019. “I’m still friends with all of the guys there. They’ll always be my friends. It was hard because I really think we could have maybe won every year. I loved it there.”
But he definitely got a lot out of transferring.
In Connecticut, he was able to play against very high-level competition and it helped him grow up pretty quickly.
“I lived in dorms, so I’ve been living on my own since I was 15,” Giwerowski said. “It was very good hockey, too. I learned a lot by playing at that level. It was hard being away, that was hard, but I got used to it.
“It was good because it’s about three hours away, so my family would come up a few times a month. They made friends with the parents of other players, so they liked it because they could have fun and see me.”
While his family was making friends, Giwerowski was making a name for himself. And after graduating, he spent a year in Des Moines, Iowa, playing for the Buccaneers in the 18U League. There, he starred enough to get noticed by the scouts in Amarillo. He hopes this will give him a chance to play in front of more scouts.
And while he is fully committed to playing hockey, he is going in hoping to get a chance to play college hockey and get an education.
“Obviously, I would love to play professional hockey, but that’s very hard to do, so it is the goal, but realistically, that’s a longshot,” Giwerowski said. “But I really want to get a chance to play in college. Play Division I hockey.
“It’s hard. You think about it, I think hockey is the hardest sport to get a scholarship in, and it’s even harder for a goalie. There are two goalies on each team and 60 Division I programs, so you only have 120 spots out there. It’s really hard.”
If he’s looking for a way to show what he can do, he has it in the North American Hockey League.
It will be different this year because of the coronavirus, it’s unknown when he’ll report or what the games will be like once they get started. Right now Giwerowski knows he has training camp in Aston, Delaware County, in August, but beyond that, everything is in limbo.
Giwerowski doesn’t know how scouts will see him, but he knows they’ll be watching and he’ll do everything in his power to make sure they like what they see.
“It’s been tough in hockey, now we’re getting ice time, but there was like a month straight where it was impossible to get ice time,” said Giwerowski, who hopes to major in business in college. “I was off the ice for, like, three months, so when I got back on, it took a few times to feel like I was good.
“I don’t know what to expect, but I know people will be watching. Maybe they’ll let a few scouts in, but every game will be available. They’ll be able to see the stats. They’ll find good players.”
Giwerowski is ready for the next step, but he’s also thankful for the people who helped him reach this level. And he’ll keep working hard to do them proud.
“When I was in Kent, I had a coach, Devin Rask, and he really helped me a lot,” Giwerowski said. “He coached me when I was 15 and 16 in Kent. He was great and we won the championship, the national championship, when we were 18. And this year, without Nick Sova at Des Moines, I wouldn’t be getting this opportunity without him. I’ve had a lot of help, I just want to make sure I keep working.”