Craig Pejkovic (RW)
La Ronge Ice Wolves
While the 2016-17 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season is still over 100 days away it is never too early to take a look at some players that could make an impact on their respective team in the upcoming season.
One such player is Craig Pejkovic of the La Ronge Ice Wolves.
The soon-to-be 19-year-old winger from Sherwood Park, Alta., played in 49 games last season and accumulated three goals and six assists. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Pejkovic turned it up a bit in the playoffs, however, as he had two goals and one helper in seven post-season matches giving notice that he is ready to take the next step in his junior career.
Prior to joining the Ice Wolves, Pejkovic spent two seasons with the Leduc Midget AAA Oil Kings where in 66 games over that span he tallied seven goals and set up 15 others. His first season of midget eligibility was with the Canmore Minor Midget AAA Red Wings and in 32 games with that squad he notched four goals and collected 15 assists.
Pejkovic has the size and ability to be a solid player in the SJHL and with one year of experience under his belt he should be a core player this coming year and possibly for one more after that.
Devin Gerwing (D)
The Yorkton Terriers went through some growing pains last year, but they did so with a group of promising players who will only make the team better in the future.
There are of course the Welke twins – Carson and McKenzie – along with youngster Cole Keenleyside, but add to that list recently-turned 19-year-old defenceman Devin Gerwing.
The Arborfield, Sask., product appeared in 54 games for the Terriers last year collecting two goals and 16 assists. At 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds Gerwing doesn’t fit the prototype of most defencemen, but he is smart and effective, which makes the Terriers excited for what he will bring to the club for the upcoming campaign and beyond.
Gerwing honed his skills with the Tisdale Trojans of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League for two seasons prior to joining the Terriers. In 83 regular-season games with the Trojans Gerwing amassed six goals and 39 assists while in 13 post-season contests he had a goal and three helpers.
Gerwing was part of the very successful Northeast Wolfpack Bantam AA squad prior to moving to Tisdale so he has a solid pedigree, which should only get stronger as he progresses through his junior career.
The Terriers were slow out of the gate to start last year, but with the experience gained by players like Gerwing they should be a much stronger squad this time around.
The SJHL congratulates our three alumni members of the Frozen Four Champion University Of North Dakota Fighting Hawks!
Coltyn Sanderson (F)
Weyburn Red Wings / UND
Much like his former Weyburn linemate Jesse Ross, who won a Canada West championship with the U of S this season, Sanderson played his first season of junior playing Junior 'B'. Sanderson's 18-year-old season was spent with the PJHL's Assiniboia Southern Rebels. He would join the Red Wings full time the following year, and captain them to a Sherwood Conference championship as a 20-year-old, putting up 81 points (32g-49a) in 57 games. Sanderson had 12-points in 35-games in his senior year at UND.
Matt Hrynkiw (G)
Humboldt Broncos / UND
Hrynkiw and the Broncos beat Sanderson and the Red Wings in the 2012 Final, the year the Broncos hosted the RBC Cup. Now, they shared in an NCAA Frozen Four title together at UND. The Broncos lost in the final to Yorkton in 2013, Hrynkiw's final SJHL season, but that year he posted a 1.83 GAA and .939%. With the Fighting Hawks this season, Hrynkiw went 10-2-2, 2.13 GAA, .910% and two shutouts.
Danys Chartrand (D)
Flin Flon Bombers / UND
With a veteran-laden club that won it all, Chartrand didn't see any regular season or Frozen Four action with UND this season, but should be poised to crack the lineup full time in the fall. The Winnipeg product played 146 SJHL games, all with the Bombers, putting up 50 points. Chartrand will no doubt be paying close attention to his former teammates as they battle the defending champion Melfort Mustangs in the SJHL Canalta Cup Final.