Devon Becker, D
Weyburn Red Wings
The Weyburn Red Wings had the stingiest defence in the SJHL last year and they added another piece to their blueline brigade this season with the inclusion of Devon Becker to their roster.
The 6-foot-2, 201-pound product of Langley, B.C., will complement a backend that already features Mike Eskra and Jeremy Lagler and with one goal and one assist in his first three games in the SJHL it also looks like he will be able to add offensively as well.
The 19-year-old Becker comes to Weyburn after spending the past two seasons playing in the Pacific Junior Hockey League with the Abbottsford Pilots. Becker appeared in 41 games last year with the Pilots and amassed 35 points on two goals and 33 helpers. The previous season he had 24 points in 33 games including five goals and 19 assists.
Prior to joining Abbottsford, Becker spent a number of years in the Program of Excellence in B.C. and in 2013-14 as a 16-year-old he was involved in three different programs – under-18, varsity and prep. He played in 73 games that year and totalled 59 points on 14 goals and 44 assists.
Becker was also in the under-16 Program of Excellence as a 15-year-old so he has been playing at the elite level for some time.
The Red Wings have a gifted backend and Becker’s addition should only make them stronger.
Owen Lamb, F
Battlefords North Stars
The Battlefords North Stars have had great success recently in bringing in homegrown talent and Owen Lamb looks to be like the latest to make huge contributions while staying in his hometown.
Lamb, an 18-year-old winger, already has a goal and an assist in his first three games this season and the 5-foot-9, 182-pounder has a history of finding the net no matter what level he plays at.
Last year with the Midget AAA Battlefords Stars, Lamb collected 12 goals and 26 assists in 43 games and the previous season he played a huge role in helping the Stars reach the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League championship final as he dressed in all 44 regular-season games and 14 playoff tilts registering a combined 10 goals and 14 assists.
Prior to making the jump to Midget AAA, Lamb had one season with the Battlefords Barons of the Centre-Four Hockey League where he notched 13 goals and 28 assists in 32 games.
One thing that stands out with Lamb’s career is that at every level he has played he has gotten an early audition at the next level. While with the Midget AA Barons he was called up for six games with the Stars and he collected two goals during that stretch. Last year while with the Midget AAA Stars he was brought up to the SJHL’s North Stars for one regular season game and six more in the post-season and although he failed to register a point, he obviously made the Junior “A” team take notice.
Lamb will undoubtedly have some growing pains playing at the higher level, but his past experience shows he can contribute when given the opportunity.
Melfort Mustangs, F
One player who appears well on track to having a career year is Melfort's Kalem Zary. The 19-year-old sophomore forward had more of a depth role while helping the Mustangs to their second straight Canalta Cup Championship a year ago, putting up 6-goals and 11-points during the season, and adding another 3-goals in the playoffs. He was halfway to last year's totals through the opening weekend of this season, racking up a league-high 3-goals and 5-points through two games against La Ronge.
Estevan Bruins, F
While the Estevan Bruins were loading up to host last year's Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup, team were no doubt offering up their top end players in hopes of landing Lynnden Pastachak in a futures deal for this year. If that was the case, Bruins' Coach/GM Chris Lewgood was obviously having none of it, as Pastachak is back in the fold as a 20-year-old, and has to be in the discussion as a Top 5 choice to win the scoring race. The Bienfait product had 5 points on opening weekend as Estevan won a pair of games against Melville.
Humboldt Broncos, G
The Humboldt Broncos appeared to have great scoring depth heading into the season, and one of their off-season moves including shoring up at the goaltending position, acquiring 20-year-old Garrett Mason from the AJHL's Whitecourt Wolverines. Mason split time between Whitecourt, Spruce Grove and Drayton Valley last year, but combined to have five regular season shutouts. He allowed just five goals on opening weekend, helping the Broncos to a home and home sweep over the Notre Dame Hounds.